Peru 2021

Peru has its presidential and congressional elections today. For presidency, it is the first round of a two-round majority election. And it is likely that the top two will combine for a very small percentage of the vote in this first round. (See polling summary.) That’s really no way to select a top leader, but that’s what you get when you have a democracy without political parties in any meaningful sense of the term. See Steven Taylor’s post today for more about that.

The combination of weak parties and fragmentation with an electoral system that uses a wide variation in district magnitude and D’Hondt divisors, can also result in wide discrepancies between national votes and congressional seats. For instance, in 2016, it helped produce divided government when the party that won a manufactured majority in congress, concurrent with the first round, lost the runoff. In the just-linked earlier post, I said that “governing may be a challenge” in the period ahead. Oh, did that prove to be a good call! (Details in Steven’s post.)

11 thoughts on “Peru 2021

  1. The Ipsos quick count predicts that eleven parties will make it into the next Congress: the ENPP in terms of seats is 7.8. The same prediction says that leftist Pedro Castillo and rightist Keiko Fujimori will be the two candidates to make it into the runoff. Castillo’s party won 28 seats, and Fujimori’s won 16.


  2. Good thing there is a 2 round system, has there ever been a FPTP Presidential election where the leading candidate won with 17% of the vote?

    What would be the most optimal electoral system for Peru?

    I would guess that a Preferential Vote system for President would be better than the current two round system, would it cause the Monotonicity criterion, but then the current 2 round system is causing something like it?


    • “has there ever been a FPTP Presidential election where the leading candidate won with 17% of the vote?”

      The Philippines got close in 1992, when they elected Ramos president on 23.6% of the vote.


  3. An interesting situation has arisen in the legislative elections regarding former President Martin Vizcarra. Vizcarra rose to power following Pedro Pablo Kuczynski’s impeachment. In 2020, he called an election for Congress (at the time dominated by Keiko Fujimori’s Popular Force) but, remarkably for an incumbent President with high approval ratings, decided not to endorse a particular political party. Vizcarra was later impeached by that Congress.

    At this election, he ran as a candidate for Congress as part of the “We Are Peru” party in the district of Lima. He received 166,193 votes, representing 5% of all votes cast in Lima and 25% of all votes cast nationwide. However, the incumbent Congress has now banned him by a unanimous vote from holding public office for eight years. “We Are Peru” received only 6% of the vote, so it’s worth noting that Vizcarra’s vote in Lima probably pushed them over the 5% threshold.


      • The Castillo government appears to have come to an undignified end last night. Facing impeachment, and having gone through five prime ministers in three years, Castillo attempted to dissolve Congress and call a constituent assembly, seemingly without the support of his own party, the military, or the judiciary. He was immediately impeached and arrested.


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