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Weekly Report - 01 August 2019 (WR-19-30)

Vizcarra drops bombshell and calls for early elections in Peru

Peru’s President Martín Vizcarra waited until near the end of his televised annual address to congress on 28 July to spring a surprise on his audience. Accusing congressional deputies of betraying the public trust by watering down political and institutional reforms voters had demanded in a referendum last year, Vizcarra proposed bringing forward general elections by a year from April 2021, curtailing his own term as well as that of the country’s legislators. “Peru is crying out for a new start,” Vizcarra said, urging deputies to approve the requisite constitutional reform contained within the bill, which he sent to congress on 31 July. Judging by the way that the stunned silence swiftly turned to whistling and heckling from the main right-wing opposition Fuerza Popular (FP, Fujimoristas), and the stream of criticism that followed in the days after Vizcarra’s address, political confrontation, and associated uncertainty, is set to deepen rather than ease.

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