Peru Election 2006

The archived version

Congressional update, May 25, 2006

with 2 comments

Here is the latest update on the congressional results, courtesy of Rici, as well as his thoughts on the preferential voting system.
In the ONPE report of May 25, there was a small surge of votes for Alianza por el Futuro in Lima, and a small dearth of votes for Restauración Nacional. This was enough to revert the Lima results to the previous standings (UPP 8, AF 8, Apra 7, UPP 6, FC 3, PP 2, RN 1), making the national totals:
UPP: 45
Apra: 36
Unidad Nacional: 17
Alianza por el Futuro: 13
Frente de Centro: 5
Restauración Nacional: 2
Perú Posible: 2
However, there are still more than 2,000 mesas in Lima unaccounted for, and the results are still very close. According to the May 25 report, RN has 4.7% of the Lima votes and 4.01% of national votes; this is still too close to definitively say that RN will make the threshold, although it still seems quite likely. If it doesn’t make the threshold, based on the current standings, the two RN seats would go to UPP (Madre de Dios) and PP or UN (Lima). In short, we’re not going to know the Lima results until the vote count is complete, which allegedly will happen tomorrow.
In Cusco, the trend continues and it now seems unlikely that Apra will recover enough votes to gain two seats, although it is not impossible.
A number of people are suggesting abandoning the preferential ballot, allegedly to simplify the vote count and “avoid internecine battles”. In my opinion, this would be a mistake. Analysing the preferential ballots clearly demonstrates that voters use the opportunity to select between members of electoral alliances such as Unidad Nacional, and to express preference for particular candidates. “Closed list” voting effectively gives much more control to the party or alliance apparatus which constructs the candidate lists, allowing the possibility for horse-trading and deal-making. Given the general distrust of party bureaucracies, it seems to me unlikely that Peruvian electors would support eliminating the
preferential ballot if they understood the consequences. Unfortunately, the commentators suggesting eliminating the preferential ballot are unlikely to explain the consequences, since most or all of them have a vested interest in empowering party bureaucracies over the popular vote.
There is clearly a problem with counting the preferential vote, but I think it would be better to address this directly, perhaps by looking at practices in other countries which use similar electoral systems, and perhaps by introducing some form of electronic voting, or at least electronic reporting of actas.
I personally believe that the issue of “internecine battles” is a chimera. In the case of an electoral alliance like Unidad Nacional or Frente de Centro, it is surely legitimate for a voter to express an opinion on the relative merits of alliance members, given that there is no certainty that the alliance will maintain itself in the elected congress, as we have seen from the discussions going on within both of these alliances.

Written by Michael Ha

May 26th, 2006 at 9:07 am

Posted in Political Parties

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