November 27, 2020

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After overthrowing president, young Peruvians want to reform Constitution and Congress

2 min read
Protests against the government of Manuel Merino in Lima, Peru, led to the resignation of the interim president Image: ERNESTO BENAVIDES / AFP

LIMA (Reuters) – Grace Yarango is only 18 and has already helped topple a president. Now, she and many other young millennial and generation Z Peruvians are looking at even more ambitious goals, such as changing the constitution and reforming a congress that is repudiated by many.

Peru’s youngest generation – dubbed “bicentennials” because of the country’s 200th anniversary of independence next year – was at the center of recent protests that led to the resignation of the interim president on Sunday (15).

The appointment of socially liberal parliamentarian Francisco Sagasti on Tuesday (17), Peru’s third president in just over a week, restored some calm, but the crisis sparked a broader revolt against the country’s political classes and rampant corruption .

This could lead Peru to follow in the footsteps of neighboring Andean Chile, which in the wake of intense street demonstrations that took place last year is rewriting its Constitution.

“We want to correct the mistakes of previous generations,” said Yarango, who hopes to vote for the first time in the elections scheduled for April 2021. “I feel part of this bicentennial generation, we want a better country.”

The protests were sparked by the abrupt removal of center leader Martín Vizcarra through an impeachment trial held on November 9 by the opposing majority Congress, much of which revolted at Vizcarra’s anti-corruption measures. Peruvian youths accused parliamentarians of being corrupt and waved banners calling for a constitutional change.

(Additional reporting by Marco Aquino)

Source: After overthrowing president, young Peruvians want to reform Constitution and Congress