President of Peru proposes advancing elections to 2023

Peruvian President Dina Boluarte asked Parliament on Friday to advance the general elections to December 2023 and thus try to appease the protests that leave 57 dead.

Boluarte had initially proposed that the elections be held in April 2024 in a project that Congress approved in a first vote but that needs a second approval. Boluarte acknowledged that the advance for 2023 has no conditions on his part and “it will get us out of the quagmire.”

“The protest marches continue, there are more blockades and violence,” added Boluarte. “I am here because I assumed a responsibility and I will be here until Congress sets a date. For this reason I ask: agree, say the elections on such a day and that moment we will be calling elections, ”he specified.

Protests have multiplied in Peru since Boluarte took office on Dec. 7 after parliament ousted then-president Pedro Castillo, who had earlier tried to dissolve congress to avoid a vote to remove him from office.

Demonstrations demanding the resignation of Boluarte and members of Congress have so far left 57 dead, one of whom was a policeman who was found dead in a burned-out patrol car.

The protests, which began in the interior of the country, moved last week to Lima where they have maintained their pulse for the following days. A group of protesters marched on Friday along another large avenue in the north of Lima, called Túpac Amaru, through which they headed to the historic center.

In the southeastern Amazon, the governor of the Madre de Dios region, Luis Otzuka, fired into the air after protesters stoned his home. Regional television cameras showed the governor firing shots from a second-story window of his house. At the moment it is not known if the event left fatalities or injuries.

The Ombudsman’s Office asked the police to guard Otzuka’s house. Later, the governor told the local press that the attack on his house occurred because on Thursday he met with Prime Minister Alberto Otárola, an act that was rejected by the local population.

“They were breaking the door… They knocked down the windows and windows of my house… A stone fell on me… I had to defend myself, grab my weapon and start defending myself,” Otzuka justified himself.

The events followed an attack by protesters the day before at the official office of the government of Madre de Dios, as well as at a municipal police office. There were also blockades at 89 points and mobilizations in 17 areas of the country, almost all in the south, according to the Ombudsman’s Office.

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