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General Elections 2001

General elections were held on April 8. In 2000, general elections were considered tainted because of President Alberto Fujimori's control over the government apparatus and outright vote tampering. When Fujimori resigned in September, new elections were convoked. After Fujimori fled the country in November, the elections became even more vital for injecting new energy into the weakened democratic system.

Since none of the eight candidates won 50% plus one vote of the valid ballots, there will be a runoff between Alejandro Toledo and Alan Garcia. It will be held on June 3. Alejandro Toledo of Peru Posible is the frontrunner, at least with a week remaining in the campaign, but it is far closer than anyone expected. Toledo was the presidential candidate who rallied most opposition support against Fujimori and he was to have confronted Fujimori in a run-off before Toledo decided to boycott the voting because it looked as if the government was rigging the elections. He is the frontrunner in the race. He has been challenged by Alan Garcia, the former president who ruled and ruined the economy between 1985 and 1990.

To understand the tone of the campaign, you have to keep your eye on the videotapes of spy chief Vladimiro Montesinos g c i 275 Special Feature. Fujimori's intelligence chief and professional Rasputin had extensive dealings with Peru's economic and political elites, buying them off so that they would not challenge the Fujimori regime. A couple of times a week now, new videotapes come out and reveal more dirty deals. More than a few candidates live in fear of which tape will be pulled out of the vault for public display. Many people are simple feed up with the political system. Faced with the choice between Toledo and Garcia, as many as a fifth of the voters may spoil their ballots.

Reality Check

Peru Election 2000 and Peru Post Election 2000 websites provide excellent background on the elections.

Presidential Candidates

Other Parties

Congressional Elections

Peru has a unicameral parliament that has 120 members. There are 25 electoral districts. Lima elects 35 members while the other departments (and the Constitutional Province of Callao) elect the remaining. Thirteen parties and coalitions have presented candidates, though not necessarily in all districts.

Voting Requirements

Voting Franchise
Year Population % Electorate
1876 1.4 mln 0.26%
1939 6.1 mln 9.8%
1956 8.9 mln 17.7%
1978 16 mln 30.3%
1985 19.7 mln 42.1%
199021.6 mln45%
200126.1 mln57.1%
Source: ONPE

About 14.9 million Peruvians are eligible to vote, with 4.6 million concentrated in Lima. Voters must be at least 18 years old. Voting is obligatory until a voter is 70 years old. Not voting carries a fine of about $534. In congressional races, the vote selects a party and then casts a preferential vote for a member of the list.

About 255,000 voters residing abroad have registered to vote in these elections. About 90,000 live in the United States

Illiterates got the vote in 1979. The voting age was lowered from 21 to 18 in 1978. Women got the vote in 1956. The vote was extended to all literate men in 1931. Prior to those changes, only male taxpayers could vote. The first modern election law came in 1891.

Government Insitutions

Other Sites


2001 General Election Results
Party Presidential Vote % Congress Vote % Seats
Perú Posible 3,871,179 36.51 2,477,536 26.30 45
APRA 2,732,860 25.78 1,857,309 19.71 27
Unidad Nacional 2,576,657 24.30 1,303,976 13.84 17
FIM 1,044,211 9.85 1,034,684 10.98 12
Solución Popular 179,240 1.69 336,676 3.57 1
Renacimiento Andino 85,436 0.81 127,707 1.36 1
Proyecto País 79,077 0.75 155,567 1.65 1
Todos por la Victoria 33,080 0.31 191,181 2.03 0
Somos Perú     544,187 5.78 4
Cambio 90 - Nueva Mayoría     452,360 4.80 3
Acción Popular     393,426 4.18 3
Unión por el Perú     390,229 4.14 6
FREPAP     156,259 1.66 0
Total Valid Votes 10,601,740 100 9,421,097 100 120
Null Votes 402,429 3.30 1,349,005 11.26  
Blank Votes 1,260,195 10.36 1,213,212 10.12  
Total Votes Emitted 12,164,364 100 11,983,314 100  
Eligible to Vote: 14,906,233 - Absenteeism: 18.39%
Source: Oficina Nacional de Procesos Electorales