Under Peru’s constitution, Vizcarra can now opt to summon a vote of confidence over the dispute.
After more than two hours of intense debate, Peruvian opposition lawmakers shelved a snap election proposal from centrist President Martin Vizcarra with 13 votes in favor and 1 against Thrusday.
Vizcarra had proposed holding general elections a year earlier than scheduled to end an impasse with the opposition-run Congress over his proposed anti-graft reforms. He cannot run again due to term limits and has said he wants to clean house to rebuild trust with voters after back-to-back corruption scandals roiled the country in recent years.
The dissenting sectors demand more debate on the draft, however, the Constitution Commission approved a preliminary judgement so that the debate would only take place within this parliamentary group and avoid it passing to the Plenary of Congress.
Under Peru’s constitution, Vizcarra can now opt to summon a vote of confidence over the dispute. If denied, he would have to dismiss his entire Cabinet but could dissolve Congress in response.
“We will not sit with our arms folded,” Peruvian Prime Minister Salvador del Solar told a news conference, flanked by the rest of Vizcarra’s Cabinet in a show of force.
According to Marco Arana, leader of the progressive Broad Front, the right-wing lawmakers in the Peruvian Congress refuse to give up power and aim at appointing Constitutional Court judges similar to the neoliberal majority, in order to leave corrupt politicians unpunished.
The confrontation between the Fujimori-majority congress and the Peruvian Executive, headed by Vizcarra, could lead to the closure of the legislative body.
The constitutional reform proposal contemplates an advance of the elections for April 19, 2020 and an eventual second round for June.