Congressional commission shelves President Dina Boluarte's bill on technicality before it even reaches debate, thwarting a key demand of protesters angry over ex-president Castillo's ouster.
Peru's Congress has shelved President Dina Boluarte's bill to bring elections forward to 2023, leaving a major demand of demonstrators whose protests have rocked the country in recent weeks up in the air.
A congressional commission took up the president's bill on Friday afternoon but shelved it on a technicality before it even reached debate. It cannot now be taken up again until July, when a new legislative year starts.
Boluarte had unveiled a bill to bring elections forward to October 2023 on Wednesday in a bid to calm the deadly protests. A fractured Congress has repeatedly failed to agree on its own bill after weeks of political infighting.
Rapid new elections have been a key demand of protesters since former left-wing president Pedro Castillo was ousted and jailed in December after attempting to illegally dissolve Congress.
Eight weeks of anti-government protests have resulted in dozens killed in clashes between demonstrators and security forces, mostly in Peru's copper-rich south.
Congress had already agreed to bring forward elections originally scheduled for 2026 to 2024 but that did not halt the protests.
READ MORE: Peru's fractured Congress votes down new bid to advance elections
No consensus in Congress
One bill to call elections this year by the right-wing Popular Force party failed on Wednesday after days of closed door negotiations failed to yield a consensus.
Peru Libre, Castillo's party, submitted a separate bill for early elections and a non-binding referendum for a new constitution but that was voted down on Thursday night.
Other bills to bring elections forward are still in the legislative track but none have drawn consensus.
Protesters around Peru have blocked highways with trees, boulders and tires, taken over regional airports and burned buildings, impacting goods transport, business and the operation of some key mines in the world's No. 2 copper producer.
READ MORE: Peru grapples with 'nationwide chaos' as protests spread