Peru Political Situation Part IV
After tough negotiations, the executive succeeded in convincing the members of the communities in the area of the Las Bambas mining project to lift the road blockade. At the moment, the demands of the communities are being negotiated in nine working groups made up of the executive and community members. While some working groups are still holding talks, others have already signed agreements.
Before the turn of the year 2018/19, the Prosecutor General of Peru, Gonzalo Chávarry, withdrew the two prosecutors Rafael Vela Barba and José Domingo Pérez from the Lava Jato case. A reaction was not long in coming: first the population took to the streets, the president also criticized the measure, then the bar association suspended him for violating the code of ethics and finally the congress also dropped him. Chávarry withdrew from the prosecution and resigned shortly afterwards.
On Sunday, December 9th, the citizens of Peru voted with a clear majority on constitutional changes in the process of appointing judges and prosecutors, banning the re-election of congressmen, funding political party election campaigns and against a return to a bicameral system.
The prosecutor Juan Domingo Pérez and the judge Richard Concepción Carhuancho remain true to their line and take action. The presidential candidate and leader of the opposition party Volks-Kraft was issued a 36-month pre-trial detention for money laundering allegations. The charges related to money she allegedly received in 2011 from the Odebrecht construction company and the management of a criminal network.
According to ezinereligion, Ex-President Alan García was also forbidden to leave the country for 18 months because there was a risk of fleeing and ongoing investigations into money laundering allegations had not been concluded. Recently, disagreements became known about a conference held before the main business association in Sao Paulo, for which García received US $ 100,000. The financing is said to come from Odebrecht’s “Fund 2”, where illegal funds were administered. Shortly after García accepted the judge’s decision, he applied for asylum at the Uruguayan Embassy in Lima for political persecution. The Uruguayan government rejected the asylum application on December 3, 2018 and García left the Uruguayan embassy.
On October 4th, the majority in Congress voted in favor of all four legislative initiatives by the executive branch. On October 9th, the President announced that the referendum on these constitutional amendments would be held for December 9th.
After almost ten hours of debate, the Congress, dominated by the opposition party Volks-Kraft (FP), approved the motion for a vote of confidence on September 19, with 82 votes in favor, 22 against and 14 abstentions. Congress has yet to pass all four executive legislative initiatives on political and judicial reform. So far, the legislative initiatives to reform the judiciary (election of the National Council of the Magistrature CNM), private funding of parties and the return to a bicameral system (130 parliamentarians and 50 senators, with funding set at 0.45% of the budget) are in the Constitutional Commission passed. There is still no initiative to ban direct re-election of parliamentarians. Thereafter, the vote in the plenary session of the congress should follow no later than October 4th, so that the constitutional changes can be confirmed in a referendum on December 9th. The likelihood that this will happen is relatively high. Keiko Fujimori’s party appears to have recognized the importance of these reforms, has abandoned its destructive opposition policies and will most likely vote in favor of it in the legislature.
After a period of freezing, the opposition went on the counter-offensive. Suddenly the leader of the People’s Force Keiko Fujimori reacted and took action. She told the press that she and Martín Vizcarra had held talks prior to Vizcarra’s takeover and that the latter had not made them public. Furthermore, the processing of the legislative changes presented by the executive branch is being carried out slowly in Congress. Former Finance Minister Alfredo Thorne was recently summoned by Congress to be questioned about the airport project in Chincheros (Cusco). In the fall of 2017, Congress put the vote of no confidence in Vizcarra when he was Minister of Transport and brought him down. The opposition’s goal seems to be to dismantle the president. Basically it is about the anti-corruption policy called for by Vizcarra. After the announcement of the corruption cases at the highest level in the judicial system, in which Keiko Fujimori, other politicians of the People’s Force and the ex-President Alan García are supposed to be involved. At the moment, on the one hand, the rejection of a vote of confidence placed by the executive on the legislative initiatives presented by the Congress, which, if rejected, could lead to the dissolution of the same, and, on the other hand, the impeachment of President Vizcarra by the Congress is being discussed. Both would not necessarily be for the benefit of the future development of the country.