Peru's one-house Congress Monday approved by 66 votes in favor, 49 against, and 6 abstentions to reconsider a previous decision on not moving forward the elections to sometime this year. Lawmakers are now to decide on a possible date.
The reconsideration of the vote on the substitute text that modifies the term of office of the President of the country, Dina Boluarte, as well as the function of the congressmen and Andean parliamentarians elected in 2021, was approved, Congress Speaker José Williams announced.
Thus, Parliament acquiesced to President Dina Boluarte's request to review a previous decision not to alter the April 2024, date which is already a two-year advancement from the original 2026 schedule based on when the deposed Pedro Castillo Terrones was to have ended his term.
Peru's Congress agreed to evaluate advancing the general elections to 2023 after weeks of deadly protests demanding the resignation of President Boluarte, the release of Castillo (who has been imprisoned since trying to dissolve Congress and rule by decree), and the holding of a Constitutional Assembly.
Last Friday, a proposal to set October as the month for the general elections, with Jan. 1, 2024, as the start of the new term of office for the next president and new 130 lawmakers, was rejected.
(Read also: https://en.mercopress.com/2023/01/30/peru-s-congress-rejects-moving-elections-forward )
The reconsideration comes amid nearly two months of demonstrations that have so far left at least 58 dead and hundreds injured.
Boluarte said on Sunday that if no consensus is reached to debate the early elections for 2023, the government will present two legislative initiatives, the first one requesting early elections for October and the second one involving a full constitutional reform.
Williams also recalled that the project establishes the electoral process for October 2023, and not for April of next year. The text that was voted on and rejected on Friday established that Boluarte should call elections for next October, after which the new Congress could take office on December 31, 2023, and the new Executive on January 1, 2024.