Peru’s Boluarte asks OAS for regional support to move up election

Washington, Jan 25 (EFE).- Peruvian President Dina Boluarte on Wednesday urged “friendly countries” to support her proposal to move up her country’s presidential election and achieve a “peaceful” outcome to the political and social crisis besetting it.

“Help Peru proceed to its destiny via free elections,” said Boluarte in a virtual address to the Permanent Council of the Washington-based Organization of American States (OAS), which held a special session at which she presented her version of the situation in her country.

Boluarte said that she had listened “with great attention” to the speeches delivered by her colleagues at the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) summit in Buenos Aires and thanked them for their statements of concern and solidarity with Peru.

Even so, the Peruvian leader said she wanted to pose a question to her counterparts in other countries, namely: “What way out of the Peruvian crisis are they anticipating? The route of violence or that of peace and democracy?”

During the CELAC summit, Peruvian Foreign Minister Ana Gervasi on Tuesday lamented the fact that there are governments who “have not been with Peru” after the failed self-coup by former President Pedro Castillo, although she did not specify to which countries she was referring.

Shortly before speaking before CELAC, Chilean President Gabriel Boric had expressed the opinion that Peru needs a “course change” given the “unacceptable” violence over the past month, while his Mexican counterpart, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who did not attend the Buenos Aires summit, called for a joint statement against “repression” and for releasing Castillo from custody.

In her address before the OAS, Boluarte noted that she had asked the Peruvian Congress to approve “as quickly as possible” moving up the general elections.

“And I sincerely hope that the friendly countries in the region will support the only way out of the crisis,” she said, adding that she feels that the only appropriate way out is “at the same time peaceful, constitutional and consistent with the tradition of the Organization of American States and the region.”

Specifically, on Wednesday, Peruvian Prime Minister Alberto Otarola said that the government is “satisfied” with the timetable established by Congress for the second vote on the bill proposing moving the general elections up to April 2024 after meeting with the board of Parliament.

During the course of her speech, Boluarte reviewed recent events in her country since Castillo’s failed self-coup up through the resulting protests and the initiative to move up the elections.

Regarding advancing the date of the election, she emphasized her commitment to “provide the more than 33 million Peruvian men and women the opportunity to decide their destiny” with the participation of all political and social forces, given that “the country’s stability is at stake.”

And she warned that she will not surrender “to authoritarian groups” or allow them to impose solutions that are “outside the constitutional order.”

She insisted that her government is defending the right to peacefully protest, but she added that the state “has to look out for security and order,” going on to say that if abuses have been committed by the security forces those responsible will have to face justice.

Since Castillo’s failed self-coup, Peru has been mired in a serious political and social crisis in which anti-government protests have taken the lives of more than 60 people since December.

EFE –/bp

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