In Chaos, We Stand
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Peruvian President Dina Boluarte offered to hold early elections in two years in an effort to quell the deadly protests that broke out following the ousting of her predecessor, Pedro Castillo, last week, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Boluarte said Monday that she would send a proposal to Congress to hold presidential and legislative elections in April 2024. She also proposed constitutional reforms to ameliorate Peru’s years-long political crisis that has seen the departure of five presidents since 2018.
The proposed elections would cut Boluarte’s term by two years.
Last week, legislators removed Castillo after he attempted to dissolve Congress and rule by decree to prevent an impeachment vote, a move analysts labeled as a coup. Boluarte, who was Castillo’s vice president, was sworn in as president immediately afterward, with Castillo arrested on rebellion charges.
His detention angered his supporters in Peru’s highland and rural regions, where the former teacher is popular.
Violent demonstrations have erupted in those areas, with protesters blocking highways and clashing with police.
At least seven people have been killed and dozens have been injured as of Tuesday, according to the Guardian. The government has also imposed a state of emergency in the southern state of Apurímac, where demonstrators had tried to take over an airport in the city of Andahuaylas.
Meanwhile, analysts believe new elections are unlikely to resolve the recent unrest.
Polls show that many Peruvians have lost faith in a political elite plagued by corruption scandals. The South American nation was one of the worst-hit countries in Latin America during the pandemic and its resulting economic impacts.