Peru's President Renews Call For Early Elections Amid Protests

Jan 30,Kathmandu: As a way to end the violent demonstrations that have been ongoing for weeks in Peru, he again urged the parliament on Sunday to hold early elections, otherwise he warned that he would follow the path of constitutional reform.

The South American country has been plunged into a political crisis since the then president Pedro Castillo was arrested on December 7 on charges of trying to dissolve parliament and impose a dictatorship.

According to information provided by the governor's office of Peru, 48 people, including a police officer, died in clashes between security forces and protesters during the seven-week demonstration.

The unrest came mainly from the poor, rural indigenous people of southern Peru. Castillo's removal from the tribal-dominated area is seen by indigenous communities as a conspiracy against their fight to end poverty, racism and inequality.

Last month, lawmakers tabled a proposal to move the 2026 election to April 2024, but with no sign of abating in the protests, Bouluarte has insisted the election be held this year.

Addressing the nation, President Boluarte said, "He asked the parliaments to take the opportunity to win the trust of Peruvians by holding elections within 2023.

He has warned that if the parliamentarians reject his proposal, he will propose constitutional reform by holding the first round of elections in October and the final election in December.

A meeting of the Legislature-Parliament will be held on Monday to discuss the agenda of the election. On Saturday, protesters carrying shields, stones and pieces of cement from the public building fought with the police in the face of tear gas.

In Peru, supporters of Castillo have blocked highways demanding the resignation of Boluarte and new elections, resulting in shortages of food, fuel and other basic supplies.

The government has said that the police and army will be mobilized soon to remove the obstruction. The parliamentarians had agreed last month to hold the elections by April 2024 before the 2026 elections.

However, in the midst of continuous protests, Boluarte asked the Parliament to vote for or against the postponement of the election on Friday. In the plenary session held on Saturday, the Parliament rejected the proposal with 45 in favor, 65 against, and two absent.