LIMA-Peru’s Congress on Monday debated a bill to bring forward elections in a bid to end weeks of protests that have left dozens dead, but after hours of discussions left the vote for another day.
The debate was suspended after more than seven hours of talk and will resume Tuesday at 11:00 am (1600 GMT), the legislature said in a statement.
The South American country has been embroiled in a political crisis with near-daily street protests since December 7, when then-president Pedro Castillo was arrested after attempting to dissolve Congress and rule by decree. In seven weeks of demonstrations, 48 people -- including one police officer -- have been killed in clashes between security forces and protesters, according to the Ombudsman’s Office of Peru. The unrest is coming mainly from poor, rural Indigenous people from southern Peru who had identified Castillo as one of their own who would fight to end poverty, racism and inequality. Dozens of roadblocks have been set up by protesters, causin a shortage of food and fuel in some southern areas as they demand that Castillo’s replacement, President Dina Boluarte, step down. Boluarte has urged Congress to act. Last month, lawmakers moved up elections due in 2026 to April 2024, but as the protests have shown no sign of abating.
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Boluarte now wants them held this year -- a call that Congress rejected late Friday.