Dina Boluarte, the president of Peru, has urged the country's Congress to move forward the date of the general elections. This comes as anti-government demonstrations continue to take place around the country in the wake of President Pedro Castillo's ouster the previous week.
In her speech to the nation on Saturday, Boluarte criticized Congress for its failure on Friday to garner the necessary number of votes to approve her proposal for a constitutional amendment. If the amendment had been passed, it would have brought the elections that were initially scheduled for 2026 forward to December 2023.
"Don't be blind," urged Boluarte as he reminded lawmakers to rethink their stance. He cited opinion surveys that showed more than 80% of Peruvians desire general elections to stabilize the nation. These elections would be for the president and Congress.
"Take into consideration the needs and desires of the general populace, and act accordingly. I urge that the choice to move elections up be reviewed," stated the former vice president, who had just turned 60 years old when he took over as president on December 7.
The protestors are demanding early elections as well as the release of former leader Castillo, who was impeached and arrested on accusations of insurrection and conspiracy last week, which is what sparked the upheaval in the first place.
Rene Mendoza, a protester near the border with Bolivia, told the news agency Reuters, "We demand the immediate closure of Congress; we want the resignation of Dina Boluarte." Dina Boluarte is the current president of Ecuador. "Today, the people of Peru are in a state of sorrow. The whole nation of Peru is engaged in combat.
Continues to refuse to resign
Despite the intensifying protests, which have resulted in the deaths of at least 20 people and the injuries of more than 500 protestors and members of the security forces, Boluarte has said that she would not resign from her position. The instability that has gripped the nation, which has had six different presidents in as many years, has only become worse as a result of the crisis.
She replied, "What is solved by my resignation?" before adding that such a move would not tackle the critical challenges confronting Peru's countryside, such as the worst drought in a half-century, and would simply plunge the country further into disarray. "What is solved by my resignation?" she asked.
From the country's capital city of Lima, Mariana Sanchez said that she told the lawmakers that now was not the time for political revenge and that 83 percent of the people wanted new elections.
Sanchez said that she has spoken to the protestors and asked them what they want to accomplish by torching police stations, prosecutors' offices, and courts as well as attempting to take over airports and shutting down roads.
According to the reporters, Boluarte has only been in office for ten days, and in that short amount of time, she has said that she has not even had the opportunity to sit down and begin any type of discourse.
In the shocking election that took place a year ago, she was Castillo's running partner and helped him win. The woman, who is 60 years old, said that she did all in her power to "defend" Castillo from an antagonistic Congress that was comprised of elites who made it difficult for the novice politician to rule.