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Peru Politics

State and politics

GOVERNMENT

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 years.

Political System of Peru

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.

Policy

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 (FAP).

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.

Judiciary

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 that year.

Human Rights

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 Peruvian society.

Heads of State

Presidents after 1933

1933-39 Oscar Benavides
1939-45 Manuel Prado
1945-48 José Luis Bustamente
1948-50 Manuel Odría
1950 Zenón Noriega
1950-56 Manuel Odría
1956-62 Manuel Prado
1962-63 military junta led by Ricardo Pérez Godoy
1963 Nicolas Lindey López
1963-68 Fernando Rewarded Terry
1968-75 Juan Velasco
1975-80 Francisco Morales Bermúdez
1980-85 Fernando Rewarded Terry
1985-90 Alan García
1990-2000 Alberto Fujimori
2000-01 Valentín Paniagua (interim)
2001-06 Alejandro Toledo
2006-11 Alan García
2011-16 Ollanta Humala
2016-18 Pedro Pablo Kuczynski
2018- Martín Vizcarra
Other Countries in South America

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