The plenary session of the Peruvian Congress approved on Tuesday a project to bring forward the general elections in the country for April 2024, with the aim of the term of office of the current executive and legislative authorities ending at the end of July of that year and not in the same month of 2026.
The project, which was presented by the president of the Congressional Constitution Commission, the Fujimori Hernando Guerrait obtained 93 votes in favour, 30 against and 1 abstention, in a first vote which will have to be approved in the next ordinary legislature.
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Being a constitutional reform, the law required a minimum of 87 votes to be submitted to a second ballot in the following legislature, or 66 to be submitted to a referendum.
The current legislature, which should have ended last week, was extended in plenary until February 28, while the second legislature of the ordinary period 2022-2023 should begin on March 1 next year.
The approved law modifies the constitutional duration of the president’s mandate Dina Bolartethe 130 deputies and representatives of the Andean Parliament through a transitional provision which indicates that the Head of State concludes his mandate on 28 July 2024 and the legislators two days earlier, on 26 July.
The congressional decision came after the plenary session approved on Tuesday to reconsider an initial plan to bring forward the elections for December 2023, after a vote that rejected that initiative last week.
Specifically, the organizations of the Peruvian electoral system indicated this Tuesday that the closest date for the completion of a new presidential and legislative electoral process was December 2023.
Deputy Guerra initially declared himself in favor of the fact that the parliamentarians “leave by December 2023”, but then added that “there are different positions” and Congress must “demonstrate a democratic discussion”.
In this sense, the final project took up an initial approach of the Executive, which originally proposed holding elections in April 2024 to include reforms of the electoral system and political parties in the country.
During his support for the project approved on Tuesday, Guerra said that “the indications of the electoral bodies who affirmed the need to meet deadlines were taken into account”.
He considered that “between the first and second votes” to be made in Congress, the debate on electoral proposals must continue, such as the consultation of a possible referendum for a constituent assembly, bicameralism, renewal for half of the legislature, the vote electronic and elimination of the vote of confidence in the Councils of Ministers.
During the debate, left-wing lawmakers ratified their request to include consultation on convening a constituent assembly, a position rejected by representatives of right-wing factions.
“It will be our votes that can give peace of mind to our country today”, said Guerra, invoking the favorable vote of the legislators on the project.
President Boluarte assures that hers is “a transitional government” and that she made the decision not to end her mandate by interpreting “in the broadest way the will of the citizenry”, with reference to the protests and violent demonstrations unleashed in the country which they have so far left 26 people dead.
Boluarte took office on 7 December, as a replacement Peter Castillodismissed by Congress after dissolving Parliament, he announced the formation of an emergency executive, which would govern by decree, convene a constituent assembly and reorganize the judicial system.