Congress spikes debate over special powers

14 June 2015

Weeks of growing strains between the executive and the opposition-dominated legislature culminated on 12 June with the cancelling, for lack of a quorum, of a congressional plenary to decide on whether to give the executive special legislative powers. What Prime Minister Pedro Cateriano called a “parliamentary boycott” will stall the government’s attempts to pass laws designed to stimulate the economy and deal with problems of citizen insecurity. Whether or not such special laws would have any impact on the problems they are designed to resolve, the growing conflict between the two powers of the state is such as to raise concerns about institutional stability in the thirteen months between now and the inauguration of a new government in July 2016. There has been speculation about the possibility of President Humala staging a ‘Ollantazo’, a sort of self-coup that would do away with the present Congress. Such an outcome seems unlikely at the moment, but the situation remains delicate and prone to rash actions on either side.

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