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Peruvian government seeks advance of elections for April next year

The Peruvian government proposed to Congress on Wednesday to advance the general elections to April 19 next year, which seeks to overcome three years of clashes between the legislative and executive branches

The president of Peru, Martín Vizcarra.

The president of Peru, Martín Vizcarra. EFE / Ernesto Arias / Archive

Reuters | Marco Aquino

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The Peruvian government proposed to Congress on Wednesday to advance the general elections to April 19 next year, which seeks to overcome three years of clashes between the legislative and executive branches.

Leer en español: Gobierno peruano busca adelanto de elecciones para abril del próximo año

The Prime Minister, Salvador del Solar, presented the reform to change the Constitution that cuts the presidential term and the 130 legislators of Congress in one year, as President Martín Vizcarra announced on Sunday.

The presidential and legislative mandate is five years.

"We propose that the elections be advanced by the third Sunday of April of next year and that the deadlines can be adjusted so that these elections can be carried out during this period," Del Solar said at a press conference.

The prime minister said that the reform proposal also makes it clear that neither Vizcarra nor the current members of Congress can run for reelection in 2020.

It is a "proposal of a law that seeks that as a nation we overcome these three years of political instability," said Del Solar, referring to the confrontation between the Government and the Congress of opposition majority, which was exacerbated in recent months by some reforms requested by the president Vizcarra.

President Vizcarra seeks to carry out a political and judicial reform after a traffic scandal of influences of judges and high-ranking prosecutors broke out last year.

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The Government expects Congress to approve the advancement of elections in September and call a referendum in November to endorse the change. This would call elections in April, according to the reform document submitted to Congress.

The reform considers a second electoral round in June and the change of presidential term at the end of July 2020.

The announcement of the reform moderately affected the local financial market, but the Minister of Economy, Carlos Oliva, ruled out any impact on the prospects in productive activity. "Put aside any tremendous prognosis because the figures are not leading to that," he said.

The plan to advance the elections is known at a time when most Peruvians claim the closure of Congress, one of the most discredited institutions in the country due to several complaints of corruption of its members, according to surveys.

The largest opposition party, Fuerza Popular, has not yet responded as a group to the proposal. But conglomerate lawmakers have called for Vizcarra's resignation, who they accuse of launching a populist measure and being unable to govern.

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