(Bloomberg) -- Peru’s congress extended its deadline to set a date for fresh elections that lawmakers hope will end the political crisis that has left more than 50 dead and disrupted mining, tourism and agriculture.
The new deadline is Feb. 10, to give the legislature more time to review changes to the electoral timeline and rules, said Jose Williams, the president of congress, in remarks recorded in the official gazette.
Demonstrators have blocked hundreds of roads and clashed with security forces in more than six weeks of violent turmoil that began when President Pedro Castillo was impeached after he attempted to dissolve congress. Protesters are calling for both interim President Dina Boluarte and the conservative-controlled congress to be replaced as soon as possible.
Boluarte earlier told reporters that she had no interest in clinging to power and that she expected congress to pass the necessary reforms soon. Catholic bishops this week urged congress to pass the changes quickly to prevent further bloodshed.
The Las Bambas copper complex in Peru is mining at a reduced rate due to blockade-related supply challenges, operator MMG Ltd. said in an emailed response to questions.
The unrest may cut growth in January by between 1.25 and 1.5 percentage point, according to an estimate by Luis Fernando Alegria, a macro-economist at Seminario SAB, a Lima-based broker-dealer.
Read more: Peru Closes Machu Picchu as Protests Intensify
Fitch Ratings may cut Peru to BBB-, one notch above junk, if the situation doesn’t get solved rapidly, Alegria said. Even so, the nation’s low debt levels, independent central bank and solid current account cut the risk for investors, and Peru is unlikely to lose its investment grade rating this year, he added.
“We’re a country that’s politically unstable, but our macroeconomic institutions are strong enough to withstand this,” Alegria said, speaking by phone from Lima.
Protests continued Tuesday, with the nation’s mining and tourism heartland in the south hardest hit. Demonstrators also gathered for new marches in downtown Lima.
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