Peru’s President Martín Vizcarra waited until near the end of his televised
annual address to congress on 28 July to spring a surprise on his audience.
Accusing congressional deputies of betraying the public trust by watering
down political and institutional reforms voters had demanded in a referendum
last year, Vizcarra proposed bringing forward general elections by a
year from April 2021, curtailing his own term as well as that of the country’s
legislators. “Peru is crying out for a new start,” Vizcarra said, urging
deputies to approve the requisite constitutional reform contained within
the bill, which he sent to congress on 31 July. Judging by the way that the
stunned silence swiftly turned to whistling and heckling from the main
right-wing opposition Fuerza Popular (FP, Fujimoristas), and the stream of
criticism that followed in the days after Vizcarra’s address, political
confrontation, and associated uncertainty, is set to deepen rather than ease.

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