The state of Peru is a democratic, social, independent and sovereign republic. It represents a unit and is indivisible. The state is representative, decentralized and organized according to the principle of the separation of powers. The position of the president within the executive power has been given far-reaching powers since the constitutional amendment of 1993. The state president is head of state, commander in chief of the armed forces and head of government. The political reality of the country, which under Fujimori raised doubts about the independence of judicial and legislative powers, gained increasingly credibility under the Toledo government (2001-2006).
The form of government of the country and the functioning of the democratic system are regulated in the 1993 constitution, which also created a constitutional court. The adoption of this constitution in a controversial referendum was preceded by the dissolution of the democratically elected Congress in 1992. This constitution was also drawn up by a constituent assembly strongly influenced by President Fujimori, which is why its legitimacy is being questioned and a return to the 1979 constitution is being called for. Among other things, the constitution strengthened the position of the president in the political system, enabled his re-election and established the legislature as a unicameral system (congress)[Bills, agendas, etc.]. The number of Congress members is 130, who are elected for a five-year term.
Some major changes to the Fujimori Constitution affect the elections:
- The president cannot be re-elected directly. He can only stand for election again after an electoral term.
- In the event that the presidential candidate does not achieve an absolute majority, a run-off election between the top two candidates will be called within 30 days of the announcement of the official election results.
- The president and vice-president of the regional government and the members of the regional council are elected for 4 years and may be re-elected.
- Members of the armed forces and police are also allowed to vote.
- 25 constituencies were established (24 departments and that of the province of Callao) Each constituency has a seat in Congress, the remaining 95 of the 120 seats are divided according to the electoral population.
In addition, a law on political parties was passed in 2003, which stipulates that parties must be entered in the party register. For this, the parties need almost 130,000 signatures from party supporters, which corresponds to one percent of the participants in the last national election. In addition, the parties must set up party committees in two thirds of the country’s 25 departments and in at least 65 provinces. A 5% clause prevents a fragmentation in Congress.
The judiciary is also an autonomous power that is also divided vertically, which means that it is not only represented on a national level, but also in the regions, provinces and districts. The highest instance is the Supreme Court, which consists of eighteen judges. Then come the higher courts geared towards the regions. A unique Peruvian is the National Council of Justice, Consejo Nacional de la Magistratura CNM, which is responsible for selecting and deselecting judges and prosecutors. There is also the judicial supervisory authority, Oficina de Control de la Magistratura ODCA, which is the disciplinary body of the judiciary but has no rights over the chief judges.
Formal state structure
According to constructmaterials, the country of Peru is divided into 24 departments, 195 provinces and 1828 districts (Distritos).
Since January 1, 2003, the centralism that had ruled since the Spanish colonial era was given up in favor of decentralization. The transfer of the sector-specific functions of central government to the newly elected regional governments was completed at the end of 2010.
Law, order, security
The inadequate functioning of the rule of law under Toledo has improved under Alan García with regard to the separation of powers, who knew how to form majorities in Congress for his political projects. Unlike in his first term in office, García has also renounced to govern by decree. On the other hand, the problems of the judiciary are problematic, especially with regard to its independence and professionalism. In principle, the government respects the constitutionally guaranteed authority of the judiciary, but it has failed to strengthen the judiciary through further reforms. There is also corruption has grown again within the judicial system in recent years. The latter is not only found in the judiciary, but also thwarted other state institutions.
The government of Humala wanted to crack down on corruption, but the 2nd Vice President, Omar Chehade, was suspected of corruption as soon as he came to power. The chairman of the international anti-corruption NGO Transparency International and former special prosecutor under Fujmori, José Ugaz, describes corruption as structural.
The state monopoly on the use of force is being called into question by the power of the drug mafia and the remains of the armed Shining Path, which work together in some coca-growing areas (VRAEM valley of the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro rivers).