Lima, 2 feb. The Peruvian Congress rejected on Thursday a bill to advance the general elections to 2023, which also included a referendum on the convening of a constituent assembly, two of the main demands of the anti-government protests, which means a denial for the third time. to a proposal in this regard.
With 48 votes in favor, 75 against, and one abstention, the bill proposed by the Marxist Peru Libre party, which brought former President Pedro Castillo to the presidency, fell far short of the 87 votes needed to approve the proposed legislative initiative. elections to elect the Andean president, congressmen and parliamentarians on the second Sunday of July.
The long debate took place after the rejection this Wednesday of another bill that proposed holding complementary elections in December this year, which implied electing new representatives in the Executive and Legislative branches to complete the period that began in 2021 and ends in 2026, presented by the president of the Constitution Commission, the fujimorista Hernando Guerra García.
This Thursday, the session began with the words of Jaime Quito, who presented the bill that included both the early elections and the referendum on the constituent assembly.
“Today we have to give an answer to our country, an answer to the population. Let’s advance the elections to the year 2023 and consult the people, giving them power back, so that they can tell us if they want a constituent assembly or not,” Quito said.
In this sense, the parliamentarian of the same party, Peru Libre, Flavio Cruz, defined today as a “historic day”, since, according to his words, what the country needs beyond a new president or a new Congress, is a “new social pact” and ask the people if they agree or not to convene a new constitution.
During his electoral campaign in 2021, Castillo promised that he would convene a constituent assembly, something that he did not promote during his year and a half term and that is one of the demands of the anti-government protests.
In favor of this proposal, the leftist parties Bloque Magisterial, Perú Democrático and Juntos por el Perú voted, whose parliamentarian Ruth Luque explained that the call for a constituent assembly does not impose the participatory mechanism and includes one of the main demands of the population.
“Our bench is ratified in elections and termination of our mandate in 2023 (…). Regarding the issue of the elaboration of a new Constitution via constituent assembly, we agree,” said Luque.
The position of the right-wing congressmen won, since the proposal for a referendum has traditionally been a position of the left-wing benches.
For his part, Guerra García indicated that Peruvians “miss” former President Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000) and that the Constitution drafted in 1993 has brought wealth to the country.”
The ultra-conservative group Renovación Popular and the center-right Somos Perú voted en bloc against the bill, while Avanza País and Podemos Peru also rejected it by a large majority.
“They are selling an illusion, they are talking as if they are going to write the constitution. (…) We must be more serious and not play with the illusion of the people,” said Alianza para el Progreso congressman Roberto Chiabra, also former Commander General of the Army.
This Friday, several ministers are expected to go to Congress to present another bill that proposes an electoral advance for October 8. EFE
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