Protests being held across Peru over the last few weeks have called for new general elections, the dissolution of Congress and the creation of a new constituent assembly since the removal of ousted President Pedro Castillo.
Lawmakers with the Peruvian Congress tentatively approved a measure on Tuesday to hold early elections in 2024 as part of an effort to quell political unrest that has wrecked havoc on the nation since the ouster of Peruvian President Pedro Castillo.
The proposed measure, which was cleared by a two-thirds majority, is expected to allow for elections in April 2024; however, in order for the legislation to take effect it must be ratified in the next legislative session.
Both presidential and congressional elections were initially scheduled to be held in 2026 but were moved up two years by lawmakers as the proposed initiative was one of the main calls by protesters condemning the Castillo removal.
Officials had attempted to pass a similar piece of legislation the week prior but the measure failed to gain passage after left-wing lawmakers chose to abstain in the vote.
The South American nation has been in turmoil as demonstrators took to the streets and blasted the current government for Castillo’s removal and ongoing detention. In fact, Peruvian officials declared a state of emergency after protests led to the deaths of at least 20 individuals. Hundreds have sustained injuries.
Protests began in Peru shortly after Castillo was booted from his presidential post on December 7, hours after he attempted to dissolve Congress in order to prevent the body’s third impeachment vote against him. However, the vote proceeded and Castillo was subsequently taken into police custody, and has since been charged with conspiracy and rebellion.
Castillo’s pre-trial detention is expected to last some 18 months.In the interim, Dina Boluarte, his former vice president, will serve out the remainder of Castillo’s presidential term until a victor is named following the new elections.
Peru Expels Mexican Ambassador Over AMLO’s Remarks
The Peruvian government on Tuesday declared Mexican Ambassador to Peru Pablo Monroy Conesa persona non-grata and ordered him to leave the country within three days over Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s interference in Peru’s internal affairs, the Peruvian Foreign Ministry said.
“Today, the government of Peru has decided to declare the Ambassador of the United Mexican States, Mr. Pablo Monroy Cones, persona non-grata; he was given 72 hours to leave the country,” the ministry said on the website.
“This decision was taken in response to repeated statements of the President of the United Mexican States, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, on the political situation in Peru, which constitute unacceptable interference in the internal affairs.”
The ministry noted that Lopez Obrador’s statements about the state of emergency declared in Peru due to protests, as well as democracy, the rule of law, and the arrest of former Peruvian President Pedro Castillo, were of particular concern.
Lopez Obrador accused Peru’s elite of destabilizing the country and backed jailed Castillo. The presidents of Argentina, Bolivia, and Colombia have done the same, leading Peru to recall its ambassadors.