The Congress of Peru approved this Tuesday (20) to bring forward the country’s general elections to April 2024. The election was originally scheduled for July 2026.
The measure seeks to alleviate the political crisis established after the failed coup attempt on December 7th made by the then president Pedro Castillowho ended up being removed from office and arrested.
His deputy and successor in office, ignoble Boluartehas faced a series of violent protests which have already left more than 25 dead in the country. She, who initially said she intended to complete her presidential term in 2026, later declared itself in favor of bringing forward of the elections.
The measure approved this Tuesday shortens the terms of office of the president and legislators of the country, which will end on July 28, 2024.
The project had 93 votes in favor and 30 against, in addition to one abstention. Eighty-seven votes were needed for approval. As it is a proposal that amends the Constitution, the measure still needs to go through a second vote before becoming law.
Perú Libre and other leftist parties opposed the postponement of the elections. A similar project, which proposed to bring the elections forward to December 2023, had been rejected by Parliament last Friday (16).
This Tuesday, a delegation from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), headed by Secretary Tania Reneaum, arrived in Lima to meet with authorities “in order to receive information about the institutional crisis and the protests.”
The IACHR met with Boluarte at the Government Palace, and plans to visit some cities in the country.
Also this Tuesday, the diplomatic crisis between Peru and Mexico reached its worst point so far.
Authorities in Lima declared the Mexican ambassador “persona non grata” and ordered him to leave the country within 72 hours of granting political asylum to Castillo’s family members. This Tuesday, relatives of the populist leader entered the Mexican embassy in Lima. It is not clear if they will remain in place or head to the US country.
The Peruvian government’s decision responds to “repeated manifestations” by Mexico “about the political situation in Peru, which constitute interference in our internal affairs”, said Chancellor Ana Cecilia Gervasi.
Mexico reacted to Peru’s announcement by stating that it was an “unfounded and reprehensible” decision. “Our ambassador’s conduct respects the law and the principle of non-intervention,” declared Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard.
In recent weeks, Mexican President Andrés Mauel Lopez Obrador has been giving statements in support of Castillo and reaffirming the offer of asylum to the deposed populist leader.
As soon as Boluarte took office, the Mexican leader said that his government would wait a few days to recognize her and declared that Castillo had been the victim of harassment since his victory in the elections and that his political opponents “do not accept that he governs”.
A week later, Mexico signed, together with Argentina, Bolivia and Colombia, a letter which urged Peru to protect Castillo’s human and legal rights —ambiguous, the note did not, however, ask for his return to office.