Have Voters Found a Way to Clean Up Peru’s Politics?
In a nationwide referendum on Dec. 9, Peruvians overwhelmingly supported measures to bar legislators from seeking immediate re-election, tighten campaign finance rules and give the public the power to choose members of a council that selects judges. Voters defeated a measure to replace the country’s unicameral Congress with a two-chamber body. The vote happened the same day that Peruvian prosecutors reached a deal with Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht that could lead to more charges against politicians, including former presidents, suspected of taking bribes. Will the voter-approved measures effectively thwart corruption in Peru? How will the Odebrecht case affect President Martín Vizcarra’s government and his agenda? How has the Odebrecht case and the anti-corruption measures changed investment flows and the business climate in the country?
Julio Carrión, associate professor and associate chair of the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Delaware: “The political process Peru is currently undergoing is quite unsettled, but it has the potential of redefining politics for the better, if everything goes well. President Vizcarra has not wasted any time after his referendum victory. He recently announced that he was appointing a commission to draft ideas about how to implement the National Justice Board to replace the old and corrupt body in charge of appointing judges. He also indicated that he would appoint a commission to issue a report on how to reform the political system. He faces potential opposition in Congress, but Fuerza Popular, the fujimorista majority, is severely weakened, and Daniel Salaverry, the president of Congress, has not only requested ‘a leave of absence’ from Fuerza Popular, but is also acting independently from it. Vizcarra, by contrast, has…”Read More
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