Parliamentary Chamber: Congreso de la República


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  Congreso de la República

Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  8 April 2001

Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all seats in the House of Assembly following the premature dissolution of this body. General elections had previously been held in April 2000.

Background and outcome of elections:

  On 16 September 2000, the then President Alberto Fujimori announced early elections in which he would not take part. This announcement followed the release of a videotape implicating Vladimiro Montesinos, the former head of the National Intelligence Service, in a corruption scandal.

President Fujimori, the longest-serving president in Latin America, took advantage of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum summit in Brunei to flee to Japan and announce his resignation as President of Peru on 17 November 2000. Mr Fujimori's departure had been prompted by statements to the media by Mr Montesinos with whom he had been engaged in a protracted power struggle. In his statements Mr Montesinos had threatened to reveal the role of the President in their "shared history", most notably the existence of a network of secret Swiss bank accounts and alleged human rights abuses committed during the war on leftist guerrillas and drug traffickers during the early 1990s.

Following President Fujimori's resignation, presidential and legislative elections were called for April 2001

In December 2000, the Congress had voted to change the system for election of deputies to Parliament to one based on geographical constituencies. Previously members were elected by a system of proportional representation system in a nationwide constituency. This shift was intended to reflect more closely in Congress the country's large geographical differences.

Exactly a year after former President Fujimori's tainted victory in a rigged election, a fair and free poll was held. International observers from the Organization of American States, that the preceding year had refused to monitor the elections because of extensive irregularities, hailed the 2001 election results. A team of nearly 130 international observers from the European Union, the Carter Center and the National Democratic Institute also monitored the elections.

The electoral campaign was marred by sabotage and violent clashes occasionally erupted among supporters of rival candidates. Racial insults and brutal personal attacks also marked the debate. The race grew hotter when exiled former President Alan García returned and decided to stand for the presidential race.

Anti-Fujimori pro-democracy leader, Alejandro Toledo, had been the presidential favourite. But he was not able to maintain a lead and assure a first round victory in the presidential race on 8 April 2001.

In the legislative elections, results showed that no party had obtained a congressional majority. Mr Toledo's centrist Peru Posible, a young party with no common ideology, won 26 per cent of the vote and 45 seats. Mr Garcia's leftist American Popular Revolutionary Party (APRA) polled nearly 20 per cent of the votes and 28 seats. The right-wing National Unity Party won nearly 14 per cent of the votes and got 17 seats in the Congress.

On 3 June 2001, Mr Alejandro Toledo won the second round of the presidential election with 53 per cent of the votes.

Round no 1 (8 April 2001): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 14 906 233
Voters 9 421 097 (63 %)
Blank or invalid ballot papers 2 562 285
Valid votes 6 858 812

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Votes %
"Perú Posible" Party 2 477 536 26.30
American Popular Revolutionary Alliance (APRA) 1 857 309 19.71
National Unity 1 303 976 13.84
Independent Moralizing Front (FIM) 1 034 684 10.98
Union for Peru (UPP) 390 229 4.14
"Somos Perú" Movement 544 187 5.78
Popular Action (AP) 393 426 4.18
Independents n.a. n.a.

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total
"Perú Posible" Party 47
American Popular Revolutionary Alliance (APRA) 28
National Unity 17
Independent Moralizing Front (FIM) 11
Union for Peru (UPP) 6
"Somos Perú" Movement 4
Popular Action (AP) 3
Independents 4

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 98
Women: 22
Percent of women: 18.33

Distribution of seats according to age:  
21 to 30 years 1
31 to 40 years 21
41 to 50 years 43
51 to 60 years 45
61 to 70 years 9
Over 70 years 1

Distribution of seats according to profession:

Legal professions 27
Business/Trade/Industry 18
Engineers 17
Medical professions 10
University Professors 9
Economists 7
Teachers 7
Farmers 5
Journalists/writers/publishers 5
Architects 2
Manual workers 2
Sociologists 2
Housewives 1
Military 1
Politicians 1
Others 6

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Copyright © 2001 Inter-Parliamentary Union