Trending Theme: Peru’s Election Results Indicate Opportunity for Anti-corruption Reform

Although results from Peru’s Congressional election on January 26, 2020 indicate no clear winner, they may facilitate approval of anti-corruption reforms proposed by President Martin Vizcarra. Congressional elections were called early after President Vizcarra dissolved Congress in September for blocking his anti-corruption efforts. Opposition lawmakers decried the president’s move as a coup, but his decision was deemed constitutional and he received support from the vast majority of Peruvians. 

According to provisional results, 10 parties won seats in the 130-seat chamber, with no party receiving more than 11% of the vote. While there was no winner, the clear loser was the rightwing Popular Force (FP) party led by former presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori. The party received less than 7% of the vote and is said to win about 12 seats, down from 73 at the last congressional election in 2016. Ms. Fujimori is under investigation for allegedly accepting money in illegal campaign contributions from the Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht, which has stated that it has bribed previous politicians, indicating the prevalence of corruption in Peru. Although the new Congress will be short-lived and fragmented, it represents Peruvians’ demand for a shift away from the corrupt political system.

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