Peru's new President Dina Boluarte will submit a bill to Congress to celebrate early elections, she announced in the wake of widespread protests that have left two people dead.
Boluarte proposed early on Monday to bring elections forward two years after tensions rose in the South American nation following the ouster of former leftist leader Pedro Castillo.
"I have decided to take the initiative to reach an agreement with Congress in order to bring general elections forward to April 2024. In the next few days, I will submit a bill to bring the elections forward so as to be agreed upon in conjunction with the political forces," she said in a televised address to the nation.
Mobilizations have taken place in several cities in the nation in rejection of Congress and calling for the release from prison of Castillo, who was arrested and removed from power by lawmakers the same day, after he attempted to dissolve Peru’s Congress. Supporters of the ousted president are demanding the resignation of Boluarte -- who had been Castillo's vice president -- and calling for new elections.
Boluarte, who was sworn in as Peru's first female leader, had said she should be allowed to hold the office for the remaining time of Castillo´s term. However, pressured by the social outburst that the nation is experiencing, she proposed holding elections in April 2024 instead of April 2026.
Her announcement followed deadly demonstrations Sunday across the nation, including Lima. Protesters have blocked roads with rocks, logs, and interrupted traffic along the southern Pan-American Highway that connects Peru and Chile.
Fifty police officers and workers were surrounded by demonstrators at the airport in Andahuaylas, where one person was killed in violent protests. The Peruvian Corporation of Airports and Commercial Aviation reported the closure of the airport following acts of vandalism on the transmitter room on Saturday.
Andahuaylas Hospital also confirmed the death of another man who died on account of protests.
Boluarte has urged demonstrators “to calm down" and announced the declaration of a state of emergency in areas where the protests have erupted.