The president of Peru says elections may take place later this year.
In response to ongoing protests calling for her resignation, Dina Boluarte has stated that she is willing to moving the vote forward to December 2023.
Dina Boluarte, the embattled president of Peru, has said she is open to postponing elections up to the end of the year even though protesters are still calling for her resignation and political reforms.
On Friday, the Peruvian Congress is scheduled to discuss a plan to shift the country’s national elections from April 2026 to April 2024. However, a number of lawmakers have suggested changing the measure to move the elections even sooner, to late 2023.
Boluarte claimed that she spoke with the prime minister and justice minister about bringing the vote up to December of this year.
During a ceremony at a military airport in Lima, the country’s capital, she said, “We put this law to advance elections to December 2023 to the ministries for consideration.”
Following the impeachment of former President Pedro Castillo by the opposition-led Congress in early December, demonstrators against the government have rallied around the Andean nation for weeks. One of their main demands has been the holding of early elections.
Castillo announced plans to dissolve the legislature and rule by decree, a move that was roundly criticized as being outside the law, and MPs in Peru voted to have him removed. Shortly after he was ousted from office, Boluarte, who had previously held the vice presidency, was sworn in.
In spite of his denials, Castillo has been held in pretrial detention on “rebellion” allegations. In the meantime, Castillo’s supporters in impoverished and rural areas, many of which are home to sizable Indigenous communities, have been mostly driving the protests, which have been violently suppressed by Peru’s security forces.
The turmoil has so far resulted in the deaths of dozens of individuals.
To ease tensions and put a stop to the protests, Congress previously voted on December 21 in favor of a Boluarte-supported plan to move elections from 2026 to 2024.
“We are waiting for Congress to vote again after they already did so. However, the demonstrations go on. Boluarte described the current political issue as a “quagmire” on Friday, adding that there are more blockages and violent incidents.
It was not apparent if the demonstrators’ demands, which included an instant vote, Boluarte’s resignation, the dissolution of parliament, and a new constitution, would be met by postponing the elections until the end of the year.
When protestors attempted to storm airports in the south of the country, which has been the focal point of the demonstrations, some of the worst violence and highest death tolls occurred.
The only means of transportation to Machu Picchu, the historic Inca fortress and crown gem of Peruvian tourism, are blocked by protesters, who have also forced the temporary closure of numerous airports and blocked dozens of highways.
Hundreds of tourists were left trapped at the ancient sites as a result, and many of them had to be rescued by helicopter.
Left-wing leaders in the region have campaigned for Castillo’s dismissal and shown support for him, which has put pressure on the Peruvian government.
On Friday, the Peruvian Armed Forces declared that they will provide the National Police their “full cooperation” in removing protest-related blockages from public routes.
A day prior, the defense ministry referred to the obstructions as “illegal” and urged the demonstrators to disperse. Thousands of military and police were sent to Puno in southern Peru to clear the roadways.