Peru lawmakers move up general elections to April 2024 amidst bloody unrest

Peru lawmakers have voted to move up the general elections from 2026 to April 2024 amidst deadly protests sparked by the ouster and arrest of former president Pedro Castillo.

On Tuesday, the proposal got a thumping majority of 93 votes against 30 in the Congress, with one abstention.

The proposal further stipulated that the incumbent President Dina Boluarte hand power to the winner of those elections in July 2024.

Now, the proposal must be ratified in the next annual legislative session for it to take effect.

For weeks, the protesters have been calling for the dissolution of the new government under recently elected president Dina Boluarte and early elections, following the removal of Castillo.

The ex-leader was removed from office and detained earlier this month after trying to dissolve Congress to rule by decree. The move did not sit well with his supporters who took to the streets against the present government.

At least 21 people have died and more than 650 were injured in the unrest even as armed forces have been deployed to quell the protests. Despite a state of emergency declared, the agitation has been continuing.

A delegation from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights arrived in Lima on Tuesday to meet with authorities as part of a fact-finding mission on the volatile political situation.

Peru orders Mexican envoy to leave

Meanwhile, the Peru government declared Mexico’s ambassador “persona non grata” and asked him to leave the country within 72 hours after the country’s government offered asylum to Castillo’s family members.

The ministry made the decision on Tuesday after Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador made comments about Peru’s political situation, which was found to be “unacceptable interference in internal affairs, in clear violation to the principle of non-intervention,” a statement read, reports CNN.

The decision comes after Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said he had offered asylum to Castillo’s family, who were already in the Mexican embassy in the capital Lima.

(With inputs from agencies)

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