Similar Faces in Decisive Peruvian Election

Peruvian presidential, vice-presidential, congressional, and Andean Parliament elections will be held on April 10, 2016.1 Similar to the previous 2011 election, it is predicted that this election will go into a runoff election in early June because none of the candidates will win a majority of the vote. To win in the first round, a candidate will have to win 50 percent of the vote.2

Peruvian Party System:

In Peru political parties and civil groups operate under freedom of political and civil rights. But the system does not function flawlessly under these liberties. Post 1990s, when Alberto Fujimori’s presidency shifted power and focus away from traditional parties, there has been a high degree of party fragmentation in Peru. There are parties functioning at the national, departmental, provincial and district level, which results in a disconnect between larger parties and the voters. Most of the national parties have very few offices and representatives outside of Lima to gain trust and stability from voters living in most of the country.3 The lack of organizational structure also gives much power to the media’s reports during the election season.  El Comercio, a slightly conservative news source monopolizes the media and has the power to skew information to support right-wing candidates.4

Most Popular Candidates and their History:

El Comercio, a popular Peruvian newspaper, did a poll questioning the public’s view of corruption of Peruvian leaders: Alan García, Keiko Fujimori, Alejandro Toledo, Pedro P. Kuczynski, Nadine Heredia, and Ollanta Humala. While El Comercio has a slightly conservative leaning, all candidates received low ratings of honorability. Kuczynski was voted highest “totally honorable” with only 12 percent in comparison to most other leaders that received between 2 and 3 percent ratings in that category.5 High on voters’ attention this upcoming election in Peru is the general discontent with corruption.6

While Keiko Fujimori lost the election in 2011 to current president Ollanta Humala, she is running for president again.6 Currently Fujimori is leading the polls with 33 percent as the leader of the right-wing populist party, Fuerza Popular. She is promising a public investment in infrastructure to boost the Peruvian economy.2Her support might be highest currently but she does face criticism for supporting her father, Alberto Fujimori, ex-president and dictator of Peru, and his policies and potentially pardoning him from his 25-year sentence for human rights abuses.2 In an attempt to gain support she is trying to separate herself from her supporters that are closest to her father.4

Pedro Pablo Kuczynski is currently tied with Cesar Acuna having 13 percent voter support.2 Kuczynski is the ex-finance minister of Peru and is running under the central party of Alianza por el Gran Cambio. He has a 30 page government plan to reduce poverty with agricultural and technical schools, universal health coverage, and a train system on the coast.6 He will have trouble gaining support from the poor who view him as a big business man. César Acuña, mayor of Trujillo and candidate of his center-left party, Alianza por el Progreso, has recently pulled ahead to the runnerup position, but has new scandals about plagiarism in his doctoral thesis and violating campaign finance laws, which could disqualify him from the election. He proposed that the government stabilize food and utility prices as well as the exchange rate.7

Alan Garcia, former president, is currently being investigated for his pardoning of 3,274 drug traffickers while in office, won 8 percent in the most recent poll.1Alejandro Toledo is similarly burdened by his history, or financial improprieties, and is following behind Garcia.4

For voters, insecurity, corruption and job creation will be the deal breakers for the election. Each candidate weighs higher on one of the important issues for voters, which they will be capitalizing on in the upcoming three months.4


1) "Peru Sets Date for 2016 Presidential Election." Buenos Aires Herald, 16 Nov. 2015. Web. 29 Jan. 2016.

2) Costa, Janine. "Keiko Fujimori Remains Clear Front-runner in Peru Election: Poll." Reuters, 17 Jan. 2016. Web. 29 Jan. 2016.

3) Morgenstern, Scott, and Andrew T. Green. "Peru Country Assessment Reports." (n.d.): n. pag. Oct. 2009. Web. 29 Jan. 2016.

4)  "Elections 2016, the Race Begins." Peru Support Group, 19 Oct. 2015. Web. 29 Jan. 2016.

5)  "[Foto] García Y Toledo Son Percibidos Como Los Políticos Más Corruptos." El Comercio, 14 June 5. Web. 29 Jan. 2016.

6)  Cappaert, Gustav. "Peru's Keiko Fujimori Leads a Familiar Cast of 2016 Presidential Hopefuls." Latin Correspondent, 24 July 2015. Web. 29 Jan. 2016.

7)  Post, Colin. "Peru: Cesar Acuña Violated Campaign Finance Regulations." Peru Reports, 28 Jan. 2016. Web. 29 Jan. 2016.

About Author(s)