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President of Peru, Dina Ercilia Boluarte.
Dina Ercilia Boluarte, President of Peru. Photo: @presidenciaperu.

Is it possible to advance the presidential elections in Peru?

The Presidency announced that it will present a bill to Congress to advance the elections.

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After the departure of Pedro Castillo and the appointment of Dina Ercilia Boluarte as the first president of the Peruvians, which has generated violent protests in which at least seven deaths have been reported so far, the president announced that she will do everything possible to carry out some democratic elections in April 2024.

Through a televised speech, Boluarte also ordered the declaration of a state of emergency in the regions where there have been strong clashes between the civilian population and the authorities that have left a high number of wounded on both sides.

Political reform

The president highlighted her government's interest in promoting changes in the political system and indicated that they have the objective of promoting an agreement of this type in Congress.

It is important to highlight that, in accordance with the Constitution of Peru, Boluarte assumed office with full powers and therefore does not have the obligation, nor the faculties, to advance the elections, so in order to make her proposal a reality, she should seek consensus to implement a constitutional reform.

The next elections, which for now would not take place before 2026, the year in which Boluarte's five-year presidential term ends, could only be anticipated if there was a large majority in Congress, that is, by a sum of minimum 87 votes among 130 possible, during two consecutive legislatures.

“If you wanted to call early elections, you had to reform the Constitution and add a final and transitory norm that allows the early conclusion of the mandate of the people who were elected in 2021 for five years and the advancement of the general elections, both for president and Congress," said to CNN José Tello, a lawyer, political analyst and professor at the University of Lima.

The only precedent of this type in Peru occurred in the year 2000 during the third term of Alberto Fujimori.

What does the Constitution dictate?

When voting for a presidential candidate, they also vote for two vice-presidential candidates, who after being elected submit to the following rules:

  • In the event that the president cannot continue in his position for the reasons established by the norm, it is up to the first vice president to assume and complete the original term. If he couldn't, then he should take the second position.
  • In the event that none of these people could continue in office, then the president of Congress would temporarily assume office, who would be forced to call elections within a period of no more than one year, precisely because his mandate would be transitory.

In Peru, there was only one female vice president available because one of the vice presidents who ran alongside Castillo was eliminated by an election jury.

“Peruvian electoral law says that elections are called within 270 days. We could easily have an election by 2023,” Tello added.

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