Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Politics of Peru
The Government of Peru is in a state of ongoing democratization. Led by President Alejandro Toledo, the executive branch is becoming more transparent and accountable. Previously a rubberstamp body, Peru's Congress is emerging as a strong counterbalance to the once dominant executive branch, with increased oversight and investigative powers. The executive branch and Congress are attempting to reform the judicial branch, antiquated and rife with corruption.
Peruvians, whose expectations were raised during the 2000 and 2001 election campaigns, are frustrated at the slow pace of economic recovery and job creation. As discontent rises, the Toledo administration is in a race to strengthen the economy so that popular pressures do not force a shift to more radical measures. So far, the Toledo government remains committed to neoliberal economic policies and structural reform in the hope of attracting sufficient international investment to generate growth and job creation.
Other important political currents stem from the ongoing investigation of Fujimori-era corruption, notably the proceedings against Fujimori's former advisor, Vladimiro Montesinos, and sporadic activities by Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso). Regarding the latter, the Toledo government considering putting resources back into the security forces which had been earmarked for social programs.
The executive branch The president of Peru is popularly elected for a five-year term, and the 1993 constitution permits one consecutive re-election. All citizens above the age of eighteen are entitled to vote. The first and second vice presidents also are popularly elected but have no constitutional functions unless the president is unable to discharge his duties.
President Toledo has held office since 28 July 2001, after winning a special election and runoff on 3 June 2001 by 53% of the vote, following the scandal of the previous year's election. The next election will be held on 9 April 2006. Prime Minister Carlos Ferrero Costa has occupied his position since 15 December 2003, replacing Beatriz Merino, who was asked to resign.
The legislative branch
The legislative branch consists of a unicameral Congress (Congreso) of 120 members. In addition to passing laws, Congress ratifies treaties, authorizes government loans, and approves the government budget. The president has the power to block legislation with which the executive branch does not agree.
The last election, held on 8 April 2001, produced the following distribution of seats within the Congress: Perú Posible 47, APRA 28, Unidad Nacional 17, FIM 11, others 17. The next congressional election will be held on 9 April 2006.
The judicial branch
The Constitutional Tribunal interprets the constitution on matters of individual rights. Superior courts in departmental capitals review appeals from decisions by lower courts. Courts of first instance are located in provincial capitals and are divided into civil, penal, and special chambers. The judiciary has created several temporary specialized courts in an attempt to reduce the large backlog of cases pending final court action.
Peru's legal system is based on civil law system. Peru has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction. In 1996 a human rights ombudsman's office (defensor del pueblo) was created to address human rights issues.
Peru's territory, according to the Regionalization Law which was passed on November 18th, 2002, is divided into 25 regions (regiones). These regions are subdivided into provinces, which are composed of districts. There are a total of 180 provinces and 1747 districts in Peru.
The area occupied by the city of Lima and its surroundings is called Lima Metropolitana (Metropolitan Lima), and is not politically part of any region.
Political parties and leaders
- Peruvian Aprista Party (PAP), still commonly known by its older name of American Popular Revolutionary Alliance or APRA (Alan García)
- Independent Moralizing Front or FIM (Fernando Olivera Vega )
- National Unity or UN (Lourdes Flores Nano )
- Perú Posible or PP (Luis Solari )
- Popular Action Party or AP (Javier Díaz Orihuela )
- Solución Popular (Carlos Bolana )
- Somos Perú or SP (Alberto Andrade )
- Union for Peru or UPP (Roger Guerra García )
Political pressure groups and leaders
Leftist guerrilla groups include Shining Path Abimael Guzmán (imprisoned), Gabriel Macario (top leader at-large); Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement or MRTA Victor Polay (imprisoned), Hugo Avellaneda Valdez (top leader at-large). Both Shining Path & MRTA are considered terrorist organizations.
International organization participation
Peru or Peruvian organizations participate in the following international organizations:
- Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
- Andean Community of Nations (CAN)
- Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
- Group of Fifteen (G-15)
- Group of Twenty-Four (G-24)
- Group of 77 (G-77)
- Inter-American Development Bank (IADB)
- International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
- International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank)
- International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
- International Criminal Court (ICC)
- International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
- International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU)
- International Red Cross
- International Development Association (IDA)
- International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
- International Finance Corporation (IFC)
- International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRCS)
- International Hydrographic Organization (IHO)
- International Labor Organization (ILO)
- IMF, International Maritime Organization (IMO)
- International Organization for Migration (IOM)
- International Organization for Standardization (ISO) (correspondent)
- International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
- Latin American Economic System (LAES)
- Latin American Integration Association (LAIA)
- United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC)
- Nonaligned Movement (NAM)
- Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL)
- Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)
- Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)
- Rio Group (RG)
- United Nations
- United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
- United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
- United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
- United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE)
- United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL)
- Universal Postal Union (UPU)
- World Confederation of Labor (WCL)
- World Customs Organization (WCO)
- World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
- World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
- World Tourism Organization (WToO)
- World Trade Organization (WTrO)
- See also : Peru
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