Peru: Congress clears way for new elections – Politics
The parliament in Peru votes with a large majority for a constitutional reform that can bring forward the presidential and congressional elections from 2026 to 2024. Thousands of tourists have since been flown out.
After weeks of protests against the ousting of former Peruvian President Pedro Castillo, the South American country’s Congress has cleared the way for early elections. The parliament in Peru voted Tuesday by a large majority for a constitutional reform that would bring forward the 2026 presidential and congressional elections to April 2024. The reform still has to be approved by a two-thirds majority in the second reading. Interim President Dina Boluarte supported the initiative.
The former president is still in custody
At the beginning of the month, then-President Pedro Castillo wanted to forestall a vote of no confidence and dissolved the congress. Parliament then removed him from office. He was arrested on charges of an attempted coup and was remanded in custody. The supporters of the former village school teacher then took to the streets around two dozen people were killed in clashes with the police. The Supreme Court has now ordered a further 18 months in custody for the deposed President. During this time, law enforcement authorities want to investigate charges of rebellion against Castillo, who faces more than four years in prison. The decision was based on the risk of absconding.
Tourists were flown out
Due to the increasingly violent protests, Peru’s tourism ministry has now evacuated thousands of stranded tourists from the city of Cusco, which is the starting point for tours to the famous Inca ruins of Machu Picchu. According to Tourism Minister Luis Fernando Helguero, up to 4,500 stranded tourists were flown out. The situation for tourists in Machu Picchu was difficult because the train route was also damaged. A large group of tourists, for example, first had to walk 29 kilometers to the next town. The ruins of Machu Picchu are one of the most important tourist attractions in South America and have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983.