LIMA (Reuters) – Peru’s Congress on Friday rejected a bill introduced by President Pedro Castillo to call a referendum to change the constitution, a campaign promise he made in a bid to strengthen the role of the state in the economy.
The bill, which would have called for a constitutional assembly to revise Peru’s 1993 constitution, was defeated by a congressional committee with 11 votes against and 6 votes in favor.
Opponents of the proposal have argued that the existing constitution has given Peru a stability that has supported strong economic growth over the past two decades.
Castillo, a left-leaning former teacher and labor leader, has presided over unprecedented political instability since taking office last July, going through four separate cabinets and surviving two impeachment attempts.
An Ipsos Peru survey showed at the end of April that only 7% of Peruvians thought that setting up a constituent assembly should be the government’s priority. Instead, 43% of those polled said the government’s priority should be tackling crime and 42% believe it should be tackling corruption.
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(Reporting by Marco Aquino; Writing by Carolina Pulice; Editing by Anthony Esposito and Rosalba O’Brien)
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