Peru Election 2006

The archived version

Peru’s New Congress and Alliance Politics (Updated, again)

with 8 comments

Maxwell A. Cameron
April 13, 2006

According to fellow-blogger Rici (see comment below), the distribution of seats in Congress could look something like the following
UPP 42 (Ollanta Humala’s “borrowed” party)
APRA 38 (Alan Garcia’s party)
UN 17 (The alliance behind Lourdes Flores)
AF 13 (The Fujimorista coalition)
FC 5 (Frente de Centro, led by Valentin Paniagua)
PP 3 (Peru Posible, the ruling party)
The exact number of seats may vary, but there are five inescapable conclusions.
First, the governing party, Peru Posible, has been all but wiped out. From 45 seats it is down to 3.
Second, no party of the left has passed the 4 percent threshold necessary to hold a seat in congress.
Third, UN has the same representation as before: 17 seats. Moreover, in its haste to jump on the renovation bandwagon, it has lost its most effective legislators.
Fourth, UPP did better than many expected. Rather than third, as polls predicted, it has a plurality. Humala has coat-tails.
Fifth, APRA is the pivotal party. It is the only party that could govern by cutting alliances with left (UPP) or right (UPP), or by playing the two off against each other.
Sixth, the Fujimoristas have increased their share of seats from 3 to 13. They are a force to be reckoned with, and they will have one over-riding goal: to bring back Alberto Fujimori. One of the biggest vote winners is Fujimori’s daughter, Keiko (see profile in The Miami Herald). This makes one wonder what would have happened in this election had Alberto Fujimori been able to run.
The prospect of an alliance between UPP and AF follows naturally from the composition of the congress. Since the over-riding goal of the AF is to have the case against Fujimori dropped, they will ultimately have to deal with whoever is elected. They would probably have less negotiating power with an APRA government, which will have more alliance possibilities. A UPP-AF alliance would also benefit Humala by bringing him closer to a legislative majority–though the two groups do not quite have 60 seats between them–and thereby reduce dependence on APRA or other groups. Yet the idea of any sort of deal-making between the two sides provokes sharply negative reactions from within their respective camps.
Postscript: Matthew Shugart, who runs a very useful blog called Fruits and Votes, argues that alliances are of particular importance in Peru’s semi-presidential system. Congress has a special power in this system: it can censure (and thereby remove) the prime minister (head of cabinet) (see Articles 122, and 132 of the Constitution). For a penetrating analysis from one of the great experts on institutions in Latin America, read below under extended entry.
In the comments section below, Sasha asks a question that goes to the heart of a related institutional issue: what happens if the president does not have enough seats to form a majority in congress? Can the other parties get together and select a new executive? The short answer is: no, the executive is not dependent on the composition of congress, as in a parliamentary system. The other parties can form an alliance. In principle, if they have enough votes, they can impeach the president (but that is rare). A president who does not have a majority in congress will typically try to form alliances to pass legislation.
As Matt points out, the need for alliances is built into the system to some extent. I also tend to agree with Matt’s thoughts on Garcia: “Garcia would have far less ability to destroy the economy this time if he won (as I think he will, if he is in the runoff). Last time, his party had a majority in congress and was totally under his control. He was unchecked. This time he will have to build alliances.”
The next president will not have a majority (as Garcia did before), and will have to spend a fair amount of time building coalitions. Of course, there is another alternative: rule by decree, ignore the congress and constitution, bypass legislature and courts, and establish what Guillermo O’Donnell has called “delegative democracy.” That would be possible in the event of an Humala victory, especially given his stated interest in a constituent congress/assembly (see the astute analysis by Julio Carrion on this).

Matthew Søberg Shugart
Peru: Possible alliances
14 April, 2006

Max Cameron has an excellent discussion of the alliance possibilities in the Peruvian congress, now that the results are coming into somewhat clearer focus. (Rici has been updating these results in the comments to an earlier post, as well as at Max’s blog.)
It is worth noting here that alliance-building is particularly important in Peru, and not just in the generic sense (present in any presidential system) of needing to form majorities to pass statutes or constitutional amendments needed to implement a separately elected president’s program of policy change. In Peru, the need for alliances goes a step farther: Peru, uniquely in South America, has a semi-presidential system.
In a semi-presidential system, there is a prime minister who heads the cabinet and may be removed by a vote of no-confidence passed by the legislative majority. Peru’s variant also allows the president to fire a prime minister–even against the wishes of the parliamentary coalition (unlike the French or Romanian or Haitian versions, for example). And Peru has several other significant executive powers lodged in the presidency rather than in the cabinet. Nonetheless, the cabinet and its PM are important in Peru, and a president who lacks a reliable alliance in the legislature will find it hard to govern.
Actual votes of no confidence have been relatively rare in Peru. But presidential firing of PMs or reshuffling of cabinets in anticipation of congressional alliances shifting have been very common.
Even Alberto Fujimori built (and later rebuilt) governing alliances after winning the 1990 runoff and facing a divided legislature. The difference with Fujimori is that he was also at the time building an alliance with the military, with whom he overthrew the democratic regime in 1992. Presumably that part of Peruvian history will not repeat itself.
This need for multiparty alliances is one reason why a possible second presidency for Alan García would be quite different from his last, disastrous, turn in power. Then (1985-90) he was the leader of the majority party. Now he would not be. Check out Max’s considerations of how alliances might be built under either Humala or García, and the role that the Fujimorista party (which made a comeback) might play.

Keiko Fujimori expects her father to make a political comeback in Peru…
By Tyler Bridges
The Miami Herald
Posted on Thu, Apr. 13, 2006

Keiko Fujimori expects her father to make a political comeback in Peru…
LIMA – Keiko Fujimori expects her father to make a political comeback in Peru
Dozens of people at a polling station chanted ”Murderer! Murderer!” when Keiko Fujimori voted in Sunday’s presidential election.
Friendly and attentive, the 30-year old congressional candidate hardly seemed deserving of such commotion. But the screams were more directed at her father, Alberto Fujimori, wanted in Peru on more than a dozen charges stemming from his heavy-handed presidency, 1990-2000.
”She represents someone who was a dictator, who was corrupt and who violated human rights,” said Congressman Jorge del Castillo. “She’s a Trojan Horse.”
If so, she should be giving pause to Peru’s establishment. Keiko Fujimori easily won more votes than any of the other 2,600 candidates for Congress in Sunday’s election.
”People are grateful to my father and put their thanks in me,” she said in fluent English, in an interview at her home. “People love my father a lot.”
That may be, but the Peruvian government is seeking to extradite her father from Chile, where he has been jailed since an apparent attempt in November to return to Peru. Keiko Fujimori blames his troubles on his imprisoned spymaster Vladimiro Montesinos and believes he will return to Peru — as an exonerated man, in time to run for the next presidential election in 2011.
”He loves Peru so much,” she said. “I’m sure he’ll be in politics.”
Maxwell Cameron, a University of British Columbia professor who follows Peru closely, said Keiko Fujimori will use her new-found political muscle to cut deals aimed at dropping the charges against her father.
”That, in effect, is her entire political agenda, getting her father back to Peru through the front door,” he said. “She’ll make that the quid pro quo for her support within the Congress.”
With Keiko Fujimori leading the slate, Fujimori’s party, Alliance for the Future, won 14 seats in the 120-member unicameral Congress, up from three seats in the outgoing Congress. Ollanta Humala’s Peru Union party won the most seats, about 40, followed by Alan García’s Apra party with 38 and Lourdes Flores’ National Unity party with 20. Smaller parties won the remaining seats.
Humala led the presidential vote but will face a runoff against García or Flores. Martha Chávez, the presidential candidate for Fujimori’s party, garnered only 7 percent of the vote.
But Keiko Fujimori’s run for congress has been garnering much attention, with reporters from Japan, Chile, Spain, the United States and elsewhere trooping to her middle-class home in the Surco neighborhood of Lima.
She was only 14 when her father, a little-known university president, was elected president of Peru in 1990 with a mandate to pull the country out of the abyss. He succeeded spectacularly by crushing two guerrilla groups, extinguishing a 7,000 percent hyperinflation and reviving the economy.
But he also shut down Congress in what was called a ”self-coup,” and allegedly created paramilitary death squads, bribed opposition congressmen and media critics and punished any dissident voices within government.
Keiko Fujimori served as her father’s first lady beginning in 1994, after her parents went through a very public and bitter divorce.
”She was impressive: articulate, poised and mature,” said Dennis Jett, U.S. ambassador to Peru during Alberto Fujimori’s final years in power. “I never got the idea she wielded a lot of influence.”
After her father resigned, Fujimori moved to the United States and enrolled at Columbia University’s business school. It was there that she met Mark Villanella, a self-described ”Jersey guy” with the brawny arms of a former high school wrestler. They married in 2004.
Last November, she went to Chile to visit her father, who had lived in Japan, the land of his parents, since his resignation in 2000.
”He asked me if I could run,” she said.
She demurred initially, Fujimori said. She had planned to return to Peru in three to five years after completing her master’s degree from Columbia, paid off her student loans and socked away some money. Besides, she was still weary from living under the watchful eye of others and knew firsthand just how bare-knuckled Peruvian politics could be.
In December, her father’s political allies began pressuring her to run for Congress. She felt the tug of family duty and a desire to revive government programs launched by her father that helped the poor and made him so popular in shantytowns across the country.
”The hardest thing was to tell Mark’s parents,” she said. Villanella quit his new job at IBM, is still learning Spanish and reports that he is enjoying the ride so far.
For every person who might hate Alberto Fujimori, there is another who worships him.
Juan Silva, a 34-year-old taxi driver, said he voted for Humala for president but then split his ticket and voted for Keiko Fujimori for Congress.
”She’s a well-prepared girl,” Silva said. “If (Alberto Fujimori) returned, I’d vote for him. He did everything for us.”
Keiko Fujimori sería la candidata más votada en toda la historia
La Primera,
16 de abril del 2006

La ex primera dama y virtual congresista de Alianza por el Futuro, Keiko Fujimori, superaría el medio millón de votos a su favor, por lo cual podría ser considerada como la congresista con mayor votación, por lo menos, de los últimos cuatro procesos electorales.
Así lo advirtió el director de la encuestadora CPI, Manuel Saavedra, quien estimo que de acuerdo a las proyecciones realizadas la hija del ex presidente lograría superar a las votaciones que en su momento obtuvieron Francisco Tudela y Ana Elena Townsend.
Cabe precisar que el último reporte de la ONPE realizado al 54,47% de los votos ventiló que la ex primera dama obtuvo 364 mil 147 votos.
Este dato revela que Fujimori Higuchi superó la votación de la congresista Ana Elena Towsend quien en el proceso electoral del 2001 alcanzó 329,970 votos.
“Las estimaciones hechas dan cuenta que ella generó una gran expectativa de parte del electorado, por lo cual logró tener ese arrase en las ánforas”, sostuvo.
Saavedra precisó que aun cuando el crecimiento demográfico de la capital fue de 5% ello no guarda ningún tipo de relación con la abrumadora cantidad de votos de la hija del ex Presidente.
“Ése es un porcentaje mínimo. Se trata de apenas 5% y ella tiene mucho más porcentaje de votos que ése”, aclaró.
Ollanta Humala no hará ningún tipo de alianzas
Perú 21, 13 de abril del 2006

– Pero dice que no discriminará a ninguna fuerza política, ni siquiera a los fujimoristas.
– Ahora sí está dispuesto a debatir con el candidato que pase a la segunda vuelta.
Nada de matrimonios políticos. El candidato presidencial de Unión Por el Perú, Ollanta Humala, aseguró que su partido no hará alianzas con ninguna fuerza política, pero dijo que, en la eventualidad de que lleguen al gobierno, no excluirán ni discriminarán a ninguna agrupación representada en el Congreso de la República, ni siquiera a los fujimoristas.
“Si uno es demócrata, uno tiene que aceptar el mandato del pueblo. Si el pueblo ha dispuesto que haya una bancada pequeña, grande o regular en el Congreso de esta Alianza por el Futuro, del fujimorismo, hay que respetar la voluntad del pueblo”, respondió en una conferencia de prensa ofrecida ayer en un hotel del Centro de Lima.
Indicó que el pueblo ha decidido soberanamente qué fuerzas tienen que estar en el Parlamento y que, en ese sentido, los nacionalistas no excluirán a nadie para ir a un diálogo que busque la unidad en función de las propuestas programáticas. “Estamos buscando formar una mayoría social sobre la base de propuestas concretas, de un programa de gobierno, de un plan de desarrollo nacional”, aseveró.
Después de decir que su única alianza será con el pueblo, el candidato de UPP hizo un llamado a las bases de su partido para que en esta segunda etapa de la campaña electoral continúen movilizándose para llegar con el mensaje nacionalista a los lugares que aún no conocen sus propuestas.
AHORA SÍ. Y, aunque en la primera vuelta nunca aceptó un debate para desmenuzar su plan de gobierno, ayer se mostró llano a aceptar un debate entre los dos candidatos que disputarán la Presidencia de la República. También solicitó a los medios de comunicación que difundan las propuestas económicas del nacionalismo y establezcan un cronograma de debates de temas sectoriales con los equipos de los planes de gobierno.
Por otro lado, hizo un llamado a los operadores económicos para que mantengan la calma ante la incertidumbre que se ha generado respecto de quién pasará a la segunda vuelta.
Humala revela que buscaría a fujimoristas
Chávez desautoriza a Cuculiza y dice que no pactará con quien ofendió a Fujimori
El Comercio, 13 de abril del 2006

El candidato presidencial de Unión por el Perú (UPP), Ollanta Humala, adelantó ayer en conferencia de prensa que su agrupación no excluirá al fujimorismo ni a otras bancadas parlamentarias en las conversaciones que promoverá su agrupación (como primera minoría, pues ocupará 43 de los 120 escaños, según las proyecciones) para elaborar una agenda de trabajo parlamentario a partir del próximo 28 de julio.
Humala refirió que conversaría con el grupo liderado por Keiko Fujimori porque ello significará respetar la voluntad del pueblo, el mismo que eligió en las urnas a los representantes de los diversos partidos.
“No se tratará de una concertación, pero el pueblo está pidiendo diálogo entre las distintas fuerzas políticas. No estamos buscando alianzas con ninguna agrupación”, recalcó Humala.
Esta posibilidad de acercamiento con el humalismo también fue planteada por la ex ministra fujimorista y congresista electa Luisa María Cuculiza, pero de inmediato le enmendó la plana Martha Chávez, ex candidata presidencial de Alianza por el Futuro (AF). Ella dijo que no habrá borrón y cuenta nueva con quien ha llamado delincuente y ladrón al ex presidente Fujimori.
Humala comentó que, ya fuera con Lourdes Flores o con Alan García, “ambos serán rivales difíciles para la segunda vuelta electoral” y ofreció debatir con su contendor o contendora antes del 4 de junio. Pero hizo una acotación: que primero debatan entre sí los responsables de los distintos sectores sociales y productivos de los dos partidos finalistas. “Debe realizarse un cronograma de debates sectoriales”, insistió.
Humala se consideró “un humilde candidato a la segunda vuelta que aún no define los integrantes del Gabinete Ministerial porque “ahora estamos abocados a ganar las elecciones”.
Nacionalista no descarta acuerdo con fujimoristas
Aunque asegura que UPP no promoverá en el Congreso alianzas ni “matrimonios políticos”.
La Primera, 13 de abril del 2006

Pese a que descartó la conformación de alianzas con otras agrupaciones políticas con miras a la segunda vuelta o en el nuevo Parlamento, el candidato presidencial de Unión por el Perú (UPP), Ollanta Humala, no descartó llegar a acuerdos con las otras bancadas, incluida la fujimorista.
“No vamos a excluir políticamente a ningún grupo que participe en el Congreso; el pueblo soberanamente se ha manifestado sobre las fuerzas que deben estar allí y no excluimos a ninguna de un diálogo buscando unidad sobre bases programáticas”, explicó.
Al negar una alianza con el fujimorismo, desautorizó al presidente de UPP, Aldo Estrada, a su secretario general, José Vega, y a su ex vocero Daniel Abugattas, quienes agradecieron el respaldo anunciado por la virtual congresista Luisa María Cuculiza.
Sí evitó aclarar –en caso se concrete– si a cambio apoyarían el levantamiento de la inhabilitación al ex presidente Alberto Fujimori.
“En principio, el vocero de la agrupación es Félix Jiménez. No buscamos pacto ni alianza con ninguna fuerza política… Si hay una propuesta de un partido, así sea distante a nosotros y favorece al pueblo, la apoyaremos.
Vamos a buscar la mayoría social en el Congreso en base a propuestas y no a matrimonios políticos”, enfatizó.
En ese sentido, dijo que si el pueblo ha dispuesto que haya una bancada de Alianza por el Futuro, “hay que respetar su voluntad”.
Rivales difíciles
Por otro lado, propuso establecer un cronograma sectorial para que debatan los equipos de plan de gobierno y sólo después se produzca un debate presidencial con el candidato que pase a la segunda vuelta.
Agregó que tanto Alan García (APRA) como Lourdes Flores (Unidad Nacional) son rivales difíciles, por lo que hizo un llamado a sus bases a continuar “con el trabajo de llevar el mensaje nacionalista a quienes no han recogido nuestra propuesta”.
Nadine Heredia opinó que es momento de explicar propuestas y planes de gobierno, dejando de lado la guerra sucia. “En esta segunda vuelta tiene que haber un debate más de planes de gobierno; nadie conoce el plan de Lourdes Flores y creo que nuestros planteamientos y objetivos han sido tergiversados por toda esta
guerra sucia. Queremos que en esta segunda etapa las propuestas sean las que primen”, afirmó.
Fujimori no avalará alianza con Humala
Martha Chávez le resta autoridad a Cuculiza y dice que ex presidente es antípoda de Ollanta.
La Primera, 13 de abril del 2006

La desmiente. Para Martha Chávez, la propuesta de Luisa María Cuculiza sobre una eventual alianza entre el fujimorismo y Ollanta Humala es simplemente imposible y no contará jamás con la autorización ni la venia del ex mandatario Alberto Fujimori.
“El (ex) presidente Fujimori no avalará jamás una fusión, alianza o pacto con Ollanta Humala. Yo conversé en Santiago con él (Fujimori) sobre el tema Humala y fue claro en afirmarme que las propuestas y actitudes de ese candidato eran antípodas con las suyas”, anotó Chávez.
Al respecto, la presidenta de Nueva Mayoría subrayó que ha sostenido conversaciones con líderes fujimoristas que le han ratificado su descontento con Cuculiza.
“La señora Cuculiza ha hablado a título personal. Los fujimoristas no podemos hacer un pacto con quien llamó a Fujimori delincuente y ladrón. No podemos avalar a quien tiene propuestas que significan retroceder y perder la paz”, indicó.
Chávez también rechazó que se hubieran realizado reuniones de coordinación con el objetivo de efectuar una alianza con Humala.
La ex presidenciable aprovechó la oportunidad para reafirmar que uno de los problemas de su candidatura fue la falta de recursos, pero también por la falta de apoyo de algunos candidatos, como Cuculiza.
“Si ven la propaganda política de Cuculiza, jamás me menciona. Tampoco lo hace con Fujimori, ni con la alianza. Es una persona muy irónica, con declaraciones que suelen ser muy extrañas”, apuntó.

Written by Michael Ha

April 14th, 2006 at 11:14 am

Spam prevention powered by Akismet