Peru’s newest president advances elections after violent protests | Abroad
Peru’s new president, Dina Boluarte, will move the country’s elections forward by two years. In a televised speech, she announced that she would submit this request to Parliament. Boluarte hopes to defuse unrest in the country after his predecessor Pedro Castillo was impeached by parliament last week.
Castillo was removed from his position and arrested for “moral impotence” and “rebellion”. This happened after he tried to dissolve parliament to prevent a vote on his position.
Since then, it has been very restless in Peru. Castillo’s supporters took to the streets to demand his release. In many places, including the capital Lima, this has led to fights between protesters and police. Dozens of people have already been injured.
In the night from Sunday to Monday, two people died in fighting near the airport in the southern city of Andahuaylas. The demonstrators reportedly set fire to a fuel depot and the control tower. They would also hold fifty police officers and airport employees hostage.
Castillo is of humble origins and has a lot of support among farmers and natives. Peasant organizations have called for an indefinite nationwide strike to begin on Tuesday.
Elections in April 2024
Boluarte, vice president under Castillo, was appointed as a replacement until 2026, when Castillo’s term would end. Protesters believe Boluarte should not simply take over Castillo’s term and demand new elections.
“I will send a proposal to parliament to bring the elections forward to April 2024,” Boluarte announced on television overnight from Sunday to Monday. She promised to submit the proposal this week.
One of Castillo’s last actions as president was to declare a state of emergency. It was not canceled by Boluarte or Parliament, but it is not known if it is still in force.
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