Politics of Peru

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The politics of the Republic of Peru takes place in a framework of a unitary semi-presidential representative democratic republic,[1][2] whereby the President of Peru is both head of state and head of government, and of a pluriform multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the President and the Government. Legislative power is vested in both the Government and the Congress; the Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. The Economist Intelligence Unit has rated Peru as "flawed democracy" in 2016.[3]

The historian Antonio Zapata describes Peru as a "right-wing country", the only left-wing government in contemporary history being that of Juan Velasco Alvarado (1968-1975), author of agrarian reform and the nationalization of strategic sectors1. Currently, almost all major media and political parties are in favour of economic liberalism.[4]


In 1924, from Mexico, university reform leaders in Peru who had been forced into exile by the government founded the American People's Revolutionary Alliance, which had a major influence on the country's political life. APRA is thus largely a political expression of the university reform and workers' struggles of the years 1918-1920; the movement draws its influences from the Mexican revolution and its 1917 Constitution, particularly on issues of agrarianism and indigenism, and to a lesser extent from the Russian revolution. Close to Marxism (its leader, Haya de la Torre, declares that "APRA is the Marxist interpretation of the American reality"), it nevertheless moves away from it on the question of class struggle and on the importance given to the struggle for the political unity of Latin America.[5]

In 1928, the Peruvian Socialist Party was founded, notably under the leadership of José Carlos Mariátegui, himself a former member of APRA. Shortly afterwards, in 1929, the party created the General Confederation of Workers.

Democratic reform[edit]

The Republic of Peru is in a state of ongoing democratization. Led by President Martin Vizcarra, the new government is expected to be transparent and accountable.[6] Previously a rubberstamp body, Peru's unicameral Congress is emerging as a strong counterbalance to the once-dominant executive branch, with increased oversight and investigative powers; the executive branch and Congress are attempting to reform the judicial branch, antiquated and rife with corruption.

During the government of Fujimori the 1979 Constitution was changed after the Fujimori's self-coup where the president dissolved the Congress and established the new 1993 Constitution. One of the changes to the 1979 Constitution was the possibility of the president's immediate reelection (112 article) which made possible the reelection of Fujimori in the next years. After the Fujimori era and Fujimori's resign, the transition government of Valentín Paniagua changed the article 112 and called new elections in 2001 where Alejandro Toledo was elected. After that, Peru has had all presidents democratically elected.

Executive branch[edit]

Main office holders
Office Name Party Since
President Martín Vizcarra Independent 23 March 2018
First Vice President Vacant 1 October 2019
Second Vice President Vacant 23 March 2018
Prime Minister Vicente Zeballos Independent 30 September 2019

Under the current constitution, the President is the head of state and government; he or she is elected for a five-year term and may not immediately be re-elected.[7] All citizens above the age of eighteen are entitled and in fact compelled to vote; the first and second vice presidents also are popularly elected but have no constitutional functions unless the president is unable to discharge his duties.

The President appoints the Prime Minister (Primer Ministro) and the Council of Ministers (Consejo de Ministros, or Cabinet), which is individually and collectively responsible both to the president and the legislature.[1][2] All presidential decree laws or draft bills sent to Congress must be approved by the Council of Ministers.

Legislative branch[edit]

The legislative branch consists of a unicameral Congress (Congreso) of 130 members. elected for a five-year term by proportional representation In addition to passing laws, Congress ratifies treaties, authorizes government loans, and approves the government budget. The president has the power to block legislation with which the executive branch does not agree.

Political parties and elections[edit]

e • d Preliminary results for the Peruvian presidential elections, 2016
Party Candidate First round[8] Second round[9]
Votes % Votes %
Peruvians for Change
Peruanos Por el Kambio
Pedro Pablo Kuczynski 3,228,661 21.05 8,596,937 50.12
Popular Force
Fuerza Popular
Keiko Fujimori 6,115,073 39.86 8,555,880 49.88
Broad Front
Frente Amplio
Verónika Mendoza 2,874,940 18.74
Popular Action
Acción Popular
Alfredo Barnechea 1,069,360 6.97
Popular Alliance
Alianza Popular
Alan García 894,278 5.83
Direct Democracy
Democracia Directa
Gregorio Santos 613,173 4.00
Hope Front
Frente Esperanza
Fernando Olivera 203,103 1.32
Possible Peru
Perú Posible
Alejandro Toledo 200,012 1.30
Developing Peru
Progresando Perú
Miguel Hilario 75,870 0.49
Order Party
Partido Político Orden
Antero Flores Aráoz 65,673 0.43
Totals and voter turnout 18,734,130 81.80 18,335,385 80.06

Template:Peruvian legislative election, 2016

Judicial branch[edit]

The judicial branch of government is headed by a 16-member Supreme Court seated in Lima; the National Council of the Judiciary appoints judges to this court.

The Constitutional Court (Tribunal Constitucional) interprets the constitution on matters of individual rights. Superior courts in regional capitals review appeals from decisions by lower courts. Courts of first instance are located in provincial capitals and are divided into civil, penal, and special chambers; the judiciary has created several temporary specialized courts in an attempt to reduce the large backlog of cases pending final court action.

Peru's legal system is based on civil law system. Peru has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction. In 1996 a human rights ombudsman's office (defensor del pueblo) was created to address human rights issues.

Administrative divisions[edit]

Peru's territory, according to the Regionalization Law which was passed on 18 November 2002, is divided into 25 regions (regiones); these regions are subdivided into provinces, which are composed of districts. There are a total of 180 provinces and 1747 districts in Peru.

Lima Province is not part of any political region.

Political pressure groups and leaders[edit]

Leftist guerrilla groups include Shining Path Abimael Guzmán (imprisoned), Gabriel Macario (top leader at-large); Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement or MRTA Victor Polay (imprisoned), Hugo Avellaneda Valdez (top leader at-large). Both Shining Path & MRTA are considered terrorist organizations.

Non-governmental organizations[edit]

In the early 1970s and 1980s many grass-roots organizations emerged in Peru, they were concerned with problems of local people and poverty reduction. After 2000 they played an important role in the decentralisation process, their hope was that power would be divided clearly between national and local governments and the latter would be able to address social justice and the concerns of local people better than the national government could. Some NGO-members even became part of local governments. There is debate extent to which this engagement in politics contributes to the attainment of their original goals.[10]

International organization participation[edit]

Peru or Peruvian organizations participate in the following international organizations:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Shugart, Matthew Søberg (September 2005). "Semi-Presidential Systems: Dual Executive and Mixed Authority Patterns" (PDF). Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 August 2008. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  2. ^ a b Shugart, Matthew Søberg (December 2005). "Semi-Presidential Systems: Dual Executive And Mixed Authority Patterns" (PDF). French Politics. 3 (3): 323–351. doi:10.1057/palgrave.fp.8200087. ISSN 1476-3427. OCLC 6895745903. Retrieved 31 August 2017. Only in Latin America have all new democracies retained a pure presidential form, except for Peru (president-parliamentary) and Bolivia (assembly-independent).
  3. ^ solutions, EIU digital. "Democracy Index 2016 - The Economist Intelligence Unit". www.eiu.com. Retrieved 2017-11-30.
  4. ^ http://www.medelu.org/Peru-la-derecha-o-la-derecha
  5. ^ Latin America in the 20th century: 1889-1929, 1991, p. 314-319
  6. ^ "Peru's president doesn't haveroom for failure". miamiherald.com.
  7. ^ Constitución Política del Perú, Article No. 112.
  10. ^ Monika Huber, Wolfgang Kaiser (February 2013). "Mixed Feelings". dandc.eu.

External links[edit]