The Peruvian government has announced an “anti-corruption” referendum scheduled for December 9 regarding four constitutional reforms measures approved by Congress on October 4. President Martín Vizcarra stated these reforms would promote “transparency, accountability, and citizen participation” to combat government corruption. The highly contentious issues presented in the referendum will likely prompt political rallies, which may result in sporadic clashes between supporters of the president and the main opposition party, Popular Force, in the lead-up to the December 9 vote.
Corruption is a major issue in Peru, where corruption scandals and mass protests have over the past year led to the resignation of former President Pedro Kuczynski, the president of the Supreme Court, and the Justice Minister. Popular Force leader Keiko Fujimori is also facing corruption allegations and was briefly jailed earlier in October.
The four measures of the referendum include reforms to the National Council of Magistrates, the regulation of political financing, limiting the immediate re-election of parliamentarians, and the establishment of bicameralism in the national Congress. Efforts to introduce anti-corruption measures by Vizcarra and political allies in the Congress were largely restructured by Popular Force. Vizcarra has voiced his disapproval of the changes but stated he will let the people decide the validity of the constitutional reforms in the referendum.
Individuals in Peru are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all demonstrations and protests as a precaution, remain vigilant for signs of civil unrest, and adhere to instructions by local authorities.
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