Peru's Congress Tuesday approved a bill to bring forward the general elections to April 2024 after it had rejected a similar initiative last week, thus fueling additional unrest nationwide.
The new bill, submitted by Fujimorist Congressman Hernando Guerra, received 93 votes in favor, 30 against, and 1 abstention, in the first round of voting that will need to be endorsed in the next legislature.
The new plan is for the current Executive and Legislative authorities to finish their terms in July of 2024 instead of in the same month of 2026.
The constitutional amendment required a minimum of 87 votes to be submitted to a second vote in the following legislature, or 66 votes to be submitted to a referendum. The current legislature, which should have ended last week, was extended by the plenary until Feb. 28. The second 2022-2023 legislature should begin March 1.
As per the initiative's wording, President Dina Boluarte would finish her term on July 28, 2024, and the legislators on July 26.
Meanwhile, the Government of Peru has expelled Mexican Ambassador Pablo Monroy, who has been declared persona non grata.
”The government of Peru has declared the ambassador of Mexico in Peru, Pablo Monroy, persona non grata for the repeated expressions by the highest authorities of that country (...) that constitute interference in our internal affairs and are in violation of the principle of non-intervention,” Foreign Minister Ana Cecilia Gervasi said in a statement. Monroy has been given 72 hours to leave Lima.
The Boluarte administration also granted a safe-conduct to the relatives of former President Pedro Castillo to travel to Mexico as beneficiaries of political asylum.
However, Gervasi insisted that Mrs. Pedro Castillo (née Lilia Paredes) was under investigation for common crimes and that there was no political persecution against her. The documents made no mention of Yenifer Paredes, the younger sister of Castillo's wife, who was raised as a daughter by the presidential couple and who is also being investigated by the Prosecutor's Office for allegedly being part of a criminal organization.
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard confirmed Tuesday that asylum had been granted the minute these people sought refuge at the Mexican Embassy in Lima. Asylum was already granted to them because they are in Mexican territory, that is to say, they are in our embassy and when they are in the embassy you grant them asylum, it is an independent and sovereign decision of Mexico, he said during President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's morning press conference.
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