State and politics
Peru's constitution was adopted in 1993 after a
referendum. According to it, the executive power belongs to
the president, who is head of state, head of government and
commander-in-chief. The legislative power belongs to the
congress, which has 120 members. Elections to the
presidential and congressional elections are made at the
same time in general and open elections for a period of five
The president can be re-elected but one must run for a
term before a re-election can take place. All citizens who
have reached the age of 18 have the right to vote and, up to
the age of 70, to vote. The country is divided into 24
regions led by elected regional parliaments. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how PE can stand for Peru.
Peru's turbulent political history has greatly influenced
its party system. Most of today's parties are of relatively
late date and the party system is fluid. However, one
exception is the Alianza Popular Revolucionaria
Americana (APRA), which has been a driving opposition
force in Peruvian politics since the 1930s. APRA was founded
as a social democratic party but its ideological orientation
has shifted and the party's influence has diminished.
Under the rule of Alberto Fujimori in the 1990s, the
traditional political parties were weakened and replaced by
new alliances and interest groups. Several parties were
formed as electoral apparatus for various presidential
candidates and some of today's largest parties are led by
former presidents and presidential candidates.
Former President Ollanta Humala is supported by the
alliance Gana Perú, dominated by Humala's own
party, Partido nacionalista peruano, (PNP). Alberto
Fujimori's political legacy is managed by the party
Alianza por el futuro (AF) and the Alliance Fuerza,
led by Fujimori's daughter Keiko Fujimori (born 1975). She
was presidential candidate in 2011 and barely lost the
election while the party became the second largest in
parliament. Alejandro Toledo (born 1946), President 2001–06,
leads the Perú Posible Center Party (PP), which is
the third largest grouping in Parliament. A series of
left-wing parties that were part of the Gana Perú coalition
in 2013 resigned in protest of President Humala's policy and
formed the alliance of Frente amplio patriótico
At the 2016 presidential election, former leader Alberto
Fujimori's daughter, Keiko Fujimori, reelected and counted
as the favorite to win the election. After disqualifying two
of the candidates closest to Fujimori in the polls, former
Finance and Prime Minister Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, candidate
for the Liberal Party Peruanos por el Kambio (PPK),
emerged as Fujimori's strongest rival.
In the first round of voting, Keiko Fujimori won 40
percent of the vote while Kuczynski received support of 21
percent and they both went on to a second round. At the same
time, Fujimori's party, Fuerza Popular (FP), won a
clear majority of seats in parliament.
The Left candidate, who came in third place in the first
round, invited his supporters to vote for PPK's candidate to
stop Fujimori and after a prolonged vote count, Kuczynski
finally won the election by a very narrow margin. He got
50.1 percent against 49.9 for Fujimori, a difference of
about 40,000 from a total of 18 million valid votes.
After the election, Kuczynski was accused of refusing to
receive bribes. The suspicions at the end of 2017 led to a
vote of no confidence in Parliament, which the president
passed by a small margin. Shortly thereafter, Kuczynski
pardoned Alberto Fujimori from a prison sentence, which was
considered a way to repay the support Kuczynski received
from Fujimori's party in the vote of no confidence. The
pardon led to large demonstrations and several ministers
left the government.
When Parliament opened 2018 for a new vote of no
confidence in Kuczynski, he chose to resign himself, with
Vice President Martín Vizcarra taking over the presidency.
The legal order is mainly codified, i.a. in Civil Law,
Civil Procedure, Commercial Law, Criminal Law and Criminal
Procedure Law. The judiciary consists of peace judges,
general courts, appellate courts and a supreme court. The
death penalty was abolished in 1979 for crimes committed
during peacetime but can still be punished during wartime or
similar conditions. The most recent execution took place
During the 2000s, riots occurred when protests against
large-scale private mining projects resulted in violent
clashes between protesters and police. Civilian casualties
have been reported where the perpetrators have been the
country's police and security services. The use of torture
in combination with impunity is a major problem.
Although freedom of the press is guaranteed in the
Peruvian constitution, the media has periodically been
subject to state control. The media is entirely funded by
advertising, and the government is a major advertiser.
Journalists can be prosecuted for slander and the penalty is
imprisonment. In Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom
Index for 2015, Peru is ranked 92 out of 180.
The Peruvian Truth Commission estimates that nearly
70,000 people died or were subjected to forced disappearance
during the country's armed conflicts between 1980 and 2000.
Many were victims of abuse by rebel groups while others were
victims of abuse committed by the country's security service
and government officials. An amnesty passed in 1995 means
that many people who have committed human rights violations
are still free.
Peruvian law allows forced treatment of persons with
disabilities who are under guardianship. The judges are
empowered to declare persons with certain intellectual or
mental disabilities and suspend their basic civil rights,
including the right to vote.
Despite prohibitions, extensive child labor exists.
Violence and sexual abuse of children are common and most
vulnerable are the country's street children and the
paperless who risk falling victims of human trafficking and
sexual exploitation. Similarly, violence, including sexual
violence, against women and girls is a widespread problem in
Heads of State
Presidents after 1933
||José Luis Bustamente
||military junta led by Ricardo Pérez Godoy
||Nicolas Lindey López
||Fernando Rewarded Terry
||Francisco Morales Bermúdez
||Fernando Rewarded Terry
||Valentín Paniagua (interim)
||Pedro Pablo Kuczynski