Peru’s Congress approves early elections for April 2024

The plenary session of the Congress of Peru approved on Tuesday a project to advance general elections in the country for April 2024, with the objective that the mandate of the current authorities of the Executive and the Legislative concludes at the end of July of that year and not in the same month of 2026.
The bill, which was presented by the president of the Constitution Commission of the Congress, the fujimorista Hernando Guerra, received 93 votes in favor, 30 against and 1 abstention, in a first vote that must be endorsed in the next ordinary legislature.
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As it was a constitutional reform, the norm required a minimum of 87 votes to be submitted to a second vote in the next legislature, or 66 to be taken to a referendum.
The current legislature, which should have ended last week, was extended by the plenary until February 28, while the second legislature of the ordinary period 2022-2023 must begin on March 1 next year.
The approved norm modifies the constitutional duration of the mandate of President Dina Boluarte, the 130 congressmen and the representatives to the Andean Parliament through a transitory provision that indicates that the head of state concludes her mandate on July 28, 2024 and the legislators two days before, on July 26.
The decision of the Congress was given after the plenary approved, this Tuesday, to reconsider a first project of advance of elections for December 2023, after a vote that last week rejected that initiative.
Precisely, the bodies of the Peruvian electoral system indicated on Tuesday that the earliest date for a new presidential and legislative electoral process to be fulfilled was December 2023.
The parliamentary debate
Congressman Guerra declared, at first, that the parliamentarians should “leave by December 2023,” but then added that “there are different positions” and Congress had to “demonstrate a democratic discussion.”
In that sense, the final project took up a first approach of the Executive, which originally proposed that the elections be held in April 2024 to include reforms to the electoral system and political parties in the country.
During the support of the project approved on Tuesday, Guerra said that “what was indicated by the electoral bodies that affirmed the need to maintain the deadlines has been considered.”

He considered that “between the first and second vote” that has to be done in Congress, the debate of electoral proposals such as the consultation of an eventual referendum for a constituent assembly, bicamerality, renewal by halves of the legislature, electronic voting and elimination of the vote of confidence in the Councils of Ministers should continue.
During the debate, leftist legislators ratified their demand that consultation be included on the convening of a constituent assembly, a position rejected by representatives of right-wing blocs.
“It will be our votes that today can give peace of mind to our country,” Guerra said when invoking the favorable vote of the legislators to the project.
President Boluarte assures that hers is “a transitional government” and that she made the decision not to finish her term by interpreting “in the broadest way the will of the citizens”, in reference to the protests and violent demonstrations unleashed in the country that have left 26 dead so far.
Boluarte took office on December 7 replacing Pedro Castillo, who was dismissed by Congress after he dictated the dissolution of Parliament, announced the formation of an emergency executive, which was going to govern by decree, convene a constituent assembly and reorganize the justice system.

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Original source in Spanish

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