Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Peru: President eyes 2026; Others seek electoral advance

LIMA ( Associated Press) – Peru’s President Dina Boluarte is expected to rule until 2026 and complete the term of ousted former President Pedro Castillo. But as his administration begins, there are already voices in parliament and other areas of the country that have called on him to hold early elections.

“The constitution is the Magna Carta that all Peruvians must obey … The election is due on July 28, 2026,” said Bolluarte, a 60-year-old lawyer, briefly at his first press conference at the presidential palace the day before.

Boluaarte on Wednesday requested a truce from congressional legislators, who some time ago dismissed Castillo for “permanent moral incapacity,” a clause in the constitution so vague that it makes it difficult to remove a president for almost any reason. and which, in addition to Castillo, also caused the departure of Martin Vizcarra, who ruled between 2018 and 2020.

“I know there are voices that indicate early elections, which is democratic, it is respectable,” Boluaarte acknowledged, but qualified that assuming the presidency would reflect on where Peru would go, an assertion Polarized country that has had six presidents in the last six years.

The first female president faces the challenge of redirecting the political drift in the direction of stability or become just another one on that list. He has been in office for three days and looks more towards stability. “Subsequently, in coordination with all organizations, we will seek options to re-orient the country’s destinations,” he announced.

He immediately began to project himself as the new head of state with major gestures such as receiving right-wing and left-wing groups of MPs at the presidential palace. Earlier, after watching the Catholic procession of the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception pass by the Government House, they danced Andean.

It’s not just your intentions that matter. Luis Mendieta, who was at the meeting, told The Associated Press, “They should seek a governance agreement with parliamentary groups that allows them to approve more than 64 important bills that would drop the Castillo government.” Wednesday Head of the Technical Office of Pedro Castillo.

“You must also look for a cabinet that guarantees governance, but that can be achieved,” the former official said. Palace.

More unreliable was former president Ollanta Humala, who ruled between 2011 and 2016. “He doesn’t have the tools to govern” because “he doesn’t have a bench in Congress,” he told television station N. “She’s alone,” he sentenced. In his opinion, an armistice from the same Congress that had already rejected its predecessor “would last a month or maybe longer, but then the country’s bigger problems would come upon it.”

Jorge Aragon, professor of political science at Peru’s Pontifical Catholic University, also sees no clear horizon. A Boluaarte government “is going to be very complicated if not impossible,” he said, with an unlikely forecast. Castillo, Aragon explained, had relations with at least some lawmakers, but the new president must rebuild relations with all of them in order to survive.

A poll by the Institute of Peruvian Studies in November raised the future scenario if Castillo leaves the presidency. At the time, 86% preferred new presidential and parliamentary elections, while only 8% agreed that the Congress would last until 2026.

Patricia Zarate, head of the institute’s opinion studies sector, calculates that Congress is interested in staying in until 2026, rather than facilitating a constitutional reform that would advance the transfer of power and call for early elections. Is. As a result, Zarate points out, the new president will be forced to negotiate and form alliances with legislators.

“If he can work with a set of legislative benches that are negotiating certain ministries or certain policies, he may last a little longer than President Castillo,” he said. “Since the Congress wants to survive, maybe at least it can negotiate with it on some issues to allow them to survive…”, Zarate said. But he predicted that “2026 is too far away to reach.”

From Parliament, some voices have already demanded an electoral boost. One day into Bolurate’s term, Carlos Zeballos, a legislator from the small parliamentary group for Integrity and Development, asked the new president to present a legislative initiative to move the elections. He justified his request in the “majority and latent demand of the population”.

The same request came from some areas as well. The governor of Cusco, Jean Paul Benavente, condemned Castillo’s “coup d’état”, but demanded that the new president call for a new election “as a coherent measure and an objective solution to the country’s political crisis”.

Small but varied demonstrations began to appear in other regions of Peru, including in Tacabamba, the district capital closest to former President Castillo’s rural home, in view of the future of the political summit. They demanded his freedom, while dismissing Boluaarte and calling for the closure of parliament.

In Lima, more than 1,000 protesters trying to reach the parliament clashed with police, who drove them back with batons and tear gas.

One protester, Juana Ponce, told The Associated Press, “The only thing left is, we have no rights, we have nothing, it’s a national shame, all these corrupt congressmen are sold out, they killed our President Pedro Castillo has been betrayed.” press..

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Associated Press writers Gisela Salomon in Miami and Mauricio Muñoz and César Barreto in Lima contributed to this report.

Nation World News Desk
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