PERU: Dina Boluarte, the Peruvian president, said on Friday that she was considering moving up the elections until later this year as the Andean leader grapples to control demonstrations calling for her resignation that have claimed dozens of lives.
A bill to move forward the national elections to April 2024 from 2026 is scheduled for consideration in Congress later on Friday. Still, a number of lawmakers have suggested changing the bill to move the polls even sooner, to late 2023.
Boluarte was elected president in December after her predecessor, Pedro Castillo, tried to dissolve Congress illegally, leading to his expulsion and arrest. On Boluarte’s instructions, security officers cracked down as nationwide protests broke out.
On Friday, the Peruvian Armed Forces said they would “fully support” the National Police in their efforts to clear public roads of roadblocks caused by protests.
On Thursday, the military ministry referred to the roadblocks as “illegal” and urged the demonstrators to disperse. Thousands of military and police were sent to Puno in southern Peru to clear the roadways.
The administration reported earlier this week that the protestors had damaged property worth more than $1 billion.
One demonstrator, Abraham Copatayapa, told the media that “they won’t allow us to go ahead with our peaceful march; we’re demanding Dina Boluarte resign.”
“We also demand early elections,” he added.
Boluarte has insisted that she will hold the position of president in the interim until the elections are held. On Friday, she said that national elections could be held in December or even earlier, depending on how quickly the proposal is approved.