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Peruvian legislators reject constitutional reform needed to advance elections

Peruvian lawmakers on Friday rejected a constitutional reform needed to advance general elections. With 49 votes in favor, 33 against and 25 abstentions, legislators fell short of the required 87 votes.

“Constitutional reform that would have changed the term of office for the president, first vice president and elected representatives during the 2021 election and established an electoral process (and) general elections in 2023 has not been approved,” announced Congress leader Jose Williams. .

In order to hold early elections, the constitutional reform must be ratified in two consecutive legislative terms.

“Today, Congress must approve in the first vote a constitutional reform that shortens the presidential and parliamentary terms expected to end in 2026 to 2024, allowing for early elections in December 2023,” said constitutional law professor Omar Cairo. at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, he told CNN on Friday.

“Since this is a constitutional reform, it will have to be approved in two consecutive assemblies. If they approve it in this assembly, the next vote will be in March (the next assembly), which will complete the necessary reform. Now, if it is not approved in this assembly, it will have to be passed in March in the next assembly, and the second It will be in August, which will not give time to organize the electoral process in December,” Cairo explained.

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Demands for early presidential and parliamentary elections have intensified since protests broke out in the country following the impeachment of former president Castillo.

A survey published by the IEP in September 2022 showed that 84% of Peruvians disapproved of the performance of Congress. Legislators not only pursue their own interests in the Congress but are also perceived to be involved in corrupt practices.

Per Peruvian law, consecutive re-elections of the President and members of Congress are not permitted.

“There is a steady state of Peruvian legislators that refuse to leave their posts before 2026,” Cairo said. “Unfortunately, they did not listen or understand the demands of the people and rejected early elections, so they have the right to remain in office till 2026,” he added.

On Thursday, President Tina Polwart asked Congress to “take the best options possible to shorten the timeline and achieve the necessary reforms.”

“This is where we all have to go: the executive and the legislature,” he added.

Friday afternoon, Congress Announced on social media The vote is pending review.

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