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News > Peru

Peru Elects a Highly Right-Wing Fragmented Congress

  • The vote came amid a political crisis and four months after President Vizcarra signed an executive order to dissolve the then opposition-run assembly.

    The vote came amid a political crisis and four months after President Vizcarra signed an executive order to dissolve the then opposition-run assembly. | Photo: EFE

Published 26 January 2020
Opinion

The new configuration is likely to give President Martin Vizcarra a new chance to push his package of anti-corruption reforms.

After Peruvians were called to the polls Sunday to elect new members of Congress, an Ipsos exit poll reported by local news showed that 10 parties obtained representation in a highly fragmented assembly, while no party gained a majority.

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According to the poll, all the parties expected to win seats - with the exception of one party - received between five and nine percent of the votes. The center-right Popular Action will be the largest bloc with 11.8 percent of the votes.

The results also confirmed the dwindling popularity of the right-wing Popular Force party led by Keiko Fujimori, which lost control of the congress, obtaining just seven percent of the votes.

Fujimori is the daughter of the country’s ex-President Alberto Fujimori, who is serving a 25-year sentence for human rights crimes and corruption. Her party has been blocking attempts at anti-corruption laws as she herself was released from jail in November amid an ongoing corruption investigation.

The new configuration of Congress is likely to give President Martin Vizcarra a new opportunity to push his proposed package of anti-corruption reforms.

Composition of Peru's Congress with 100% of votes in fast-count. Source: Ipsos Peru

Vizcarra, a center-right politician who is not aligned with any political party does not have representation in Congress, but generally, the center and left-wing parties have shown support for his agenda, which has been staunchly opposed by the right.

The vote came amid a political crisis and four months after Vizcarra signed an executive order to dissolve the then opposition-run legislature as he considered that the lawmakers didn't go through with his proposed vote of confidence. 

Vizcarra took the drastic step to keep lawmakers from appointing up to six out of seven justices in the Constitutional Court, a likely referee in any legal dispute between the government and Congress.

The new Congress will serve for only about a year until the next presidential election and will be then replaced by a classic five-year body.


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