LatinNews Daily - 02 February 2023

PERU: Congress again rejects early elections

On 1 February Peru’s congress again voted to reject a bill to bring general elections forward to October this year, in a move that could further inflame the serious unrest that has gripped the country over the past eight weeks.


This was the latest in a string of rejected bills seeking to end weeks of anti-government protests by bringing general elections forward. The bill’s rejection can be attributed to two separate factors – a widespread fear among deputies that the anger at Peru’s political class will result in them losing their seats at the next election, and the attempt by left-wing parties to include a referendum on the drafting of a new constitution on the election ballot, which is opposed by establishment parties.

  • With 54 votes in favour, 68 against, and two abstentions, deputies once again voted to reject the latest bill to move the elections forward to October this year. As moving the election date entails a constitutional reform, the bill would need the support of 87 deputies (two-thirds of congress) in two separate votes in the unicameral congress.
  • The bill, submitted by the president of congress’s constitutional commission, Hernando Guerra García, of the right-wing Fuerza Popular (FP), received the near-unanimous backing of FP, which is now the main voice in the legislature calling for early elections. However, it was rejected by the far-right Renovación Popular (RP) and the left-of-centre Perú Libre (PL), Bloque Magisterial (BM), Perú Democrático (PD) and Perú Bicentenario (PB), and received mixed support from a cluster of centrist, centre-left and centre-right parties.
  • The left-wing parties that rejected the bill are conditioning their support for early elections on the inclusion of a referendum question on the ballot, asking voters whether they support the convening of a constituent assembly to draft a new constitution.
  • Indicative of how the instability is threatening Peru’s economic prospects, on 31 January the international credit ratings agency Moody’s changed the outlook on Peru’s Baa1 foreign-currency and local currency long-term issuer ratings from stable to negative. Moody’s said the change reflects its view that “social and political risks have intensified threatening, over the next few years, a deterioration in institutional cohesion, governability, policy effectiveness and economic strength through successive governments.”

Looking Ahead: Congress is due to debate a bill from PL today (2 February) proposing elections in October this year with the inclusion of a referendum on the convening of a constituent assembly.

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