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Peru’s president calls for multi-party dialogue to end crisis

#Perus #president #calls #multiparty #dialogue #crisis

Peruvian President Dina Boluarte on Friday called for a multi-party dialogue to help resolve her country’s political crisis, saying two months of sometimes deadly anti-government protests had left the nation a “fragile democracy.”

Boluarte became president on December 7, after her predecessor Pedro Castillo was impeached and arrested after attempting to dissolve Congress and rule by decree.

But since that day she has faced calls to resign by protesters also demanding fresh elections.

Demonstrations have at times turned violent with at least 48 people killed in clashes between security forces and protesters.

“We are living in a fragile democracy,” said Boluarte, who has refused to resign and failed in a bid to convince Congress to bring forward elections slated for 2026.

“I think it is the most fragile in Latin America, but it is within Peruvians, within us, to strengthen democracy (and) our institutions,” Boluarte told reporters at a press conference alongside her cabinet ministers.

Boluarte is Peru’s sixth president since March 2018 and the first woman to hold the role.

She was Castillo’s vice-president before he was ousted and charged with rebellion.

Demonstrations against her rule have been fiercest in poor southern regions with large Indigenous populations who view Castillo as one of their own.

Amongst their other demands are the dissolution of parliament and the formation of a constituent assembly to rewrite the constitution, something roundly rejected by the right-wing opposition.

“In search of peace, I openly call all political leaders of every single party, but also the leaders of social and labor organizations, everyone in general so that we can meet and put the country’s agenda on the table,” said Boluarte.

In December, Boluarte called on Congress to bring forward elections but parliament rejected the idea in five separate votes — despite an initial vote in favor, which was subsequently never ratified.

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