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Parliament in Peru rejects new elections this year

The Peruvian parliament has rejected President Dina Boluarte’s request to bring elections forward to next October due to the serious political crisis. After a seven-hour debate, 65 deputies voted against Boluarte’s motion overnight, 45 deputies were in favour. Two others abstained.

Speaker of Parliament Jose Williams received another request shortly after the vote to “review” the vote again. However, it can be difficult to review the result.

With the new anticipation of the elections, Boluarte hoped to put an end to the protests that lasted for weeks. Last month, Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of early elections in April 2024. Still, the protests continued. In response, Boluarte yesterday asked Parliament to hold the election later this year.

State of emergency in a third of the country

Peru has been rocked by serious unrest since the overthrow and arrest of leftist President Pedro Castillo on Dec. In protests across the country, demonstrators are demanding the resignation of Castillo’s successor and Boluarte party colleague, the dissolution of parliament for the immediate holding of new elections.

There were repeated bloody clashes with security forces, and at least 47 people were killed. A state of emergency has already been declared for almost a third of the Andean country. The demonstrations and roadblocks are leading to shortages of fuel, food and medical supplies in Peru.

Daily loss of 5.7 million euros in tourism

The political crisis has severely damaged the country’s tourism industry. Since June last year, losses have totaled the equivalent of 5.7 million euros a day, said Tourism Minister Luis Fernando Helguero. Up to 85% of trips were cancelled. Among other things, the minister referred to the situation at the famous Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, at the foot of which hundreds of tourists were stranded.

Tourism is of considerable importance to the Peruvian economy: it represents between three and four percent of the country’s economic output, and people from different social classes work in tourism.