Supporters of former Peruvian President Pedro Castillo demonstrate in the capital Lima
Photo: Martin Mejia / dpa
Congress in Peru has cleared the way for early elections after weeks of protests against the ousting of former President Pedro Castillo.
The South American country's parliament voted by a large majority on Tuesday in favor of a constitutional reform that would bring forward the presidential and congressional elections from 2026 to April 2024.
The reform still has to be approved by a two-thirds majority in the second reading.
Interim President Dina Boluarte supported the initiative.
At the beginning of the month, then-President Castillo wanted to forestall a vote of no confidence and dissolved the congress.
Parliament then removed him from office.
He was arrested on charges of an attempted coup and was remanded in custody.
The supporters of the former village school teacher then took to the streets, and around two dozen people were killed in clashes with the police.
Mexican ambassador expelled
Mexico's Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard announced on Tuesday that the North American country has granted asylum to Castillo's family.
Mexico is still negotiating a safe exit for the family of the deposed ex-president.
A few hours later, Peru declared the Mexican ambassador in Lima persona non grata and asked him to leave the country on Tuesday.
Peru's foreign ministry said on social media that the expulsion of Mexican ambassador Pablo Monroy was due to "repeated statements by that country's highest authorities on the political situation in Peru."
This is a reference to the support that left-wing Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has given his ex-president Castillo since his ouster.
Last week, López Obrador sharply criticized Castillo's dismissal as undemocratic and emphasized that he still recognizes Castillo as Peru's legitimate leader.
Mexico's Foreign Minister Ebrard on Twitter on Tuesday evening criticized Monroy's expulsion as "unjustified and reprehensible".
Peruvian Foreign Minister Ana Cecilia Gervasi announced later Tuesday that safe exit for Castillo's wife and the couple's two children had been officially approved.