Peruvian general election, 2006

Peruvian general election, 2006

right|200px|thumb|Geographic distribution of Second Round votes, by winning candidate. ">
legend|#5AAFFF|Ollanta Humala, <2/3
The first round of the 2006 Peruvian national election was held on April 9, 2006 to elect the President of the Republic, two Vice-Presidents, 120 Members of Congress, and five Peruvian members of the Andean Parliament (plus 10 substitutes), for the 2006-2011 period.

No single presidential ticket obtained more than half of the total valid votes thus leading to a runoff election held on June 4, 2006 between the two candidates with most votes, Ollanta Humala and Alan García. Garcia won the election with 52.62% to Humala's 47.37% making Garcia the President-elect of Peru. The president-elect was inaugurated on 28 July 2006, on Peruvian National Day.

The Congressional election made use of 25 Electoral Districts (Peru's 24 departments and the Constitutional Province of Callao). The number of seats in Congress for each district was determined by its number of eligible voters. A political party need to win a minimum of five seats in two electoral districts or 4% of nationwide valid votes in order to get represented in Congress.

Like the presidential and vice-presidential election, the Andean Parliament election did not use Electoral Districts, using nationwide votes instead. A minimum of 4% of nationwide valid votes was necessary for a party to get any representation in the Andean Parliament.

"Valid votes" only include votes correctly issued for exactly one candidate. Hence, blank ballots, multiple-candidate votes or incorrect markings did not affect the overall results, functioning at most as political statements.

The National Registry of Identification and Civil Status ("Registro Nacional de Identificación y Estado Civil", RENIEC) was in charge of registering eligible voters; the National Office of Electoral Processes ("Oficina Nacional de Procesos Electorales", ONPE) organized the election; and the National Jury of Elections ("Jurado Nacional de Elecciones", JNE) made any rulings concerning the election, including the proclamation of official results.


Final official results by the National Office of Electoral Processes, are given below.


With 77% of votes counted in the Second Round (runoff) and García ahead of Humala 55.5% to 45.5% respectively, the latter conceded defeat his opponent and congratulated his campaign stating at a news conference, "we recognise the results...and we salute the forces that competed against us, those of Mr Garcia". [] Final results were closer, but still gave García the victory after getting 52.6% of the valid votes against Humala's 47.4%.

First Round

left|200px|thumb|Geographic distribution of First Round votes, by winning candidate. Globe represents voters abroad.">
legend|#00D700|Lourdes Flores, <50%
Ollanta Humala obtained local victories in 18 departments and came in first place with 30.6% of valid votes. Alan García, who had been trailing Lourdes Flores in opinion polls for most of the campaign, defeated her by a narrow margin for the second runoff spot, with 24.3% against her 23.8%, much like in the 2001 election.

Support for Humala was weaker in the more densely populated coast and stronger in the more rural Andes and jungle, which prevented him from obtaining a larger advantage and stopped him too far from the 50% needed to avoid a runoff. Humala's stronghold was the southern part of the Andes, one of the poorer and less developed regions of Peru, which appeared to place its hopes on the "outsider" candidate; that is, the one not associated with the traditional political class.

Flores won in the department of Lima and among voters abroad, which together accounted for 36.8% of eligible voters. However, she failed to win elsewhere, while García won in 5 departments along the central and northern coast, as well as Callao, and most decisively in La Libertad, his party's traditional stronghold.

The official vote count progress was very slow and the race for the second place was so tight that Flores did not concede defeat until 3 May, 24 days after the First Round, and questioned the transparency and competence of the electoral authorities.

econd Round (Runoff)

right|200px|thumb|Geographic distribution of Second Round votes, by winning candidate. ">
legend|#5AAFFF|Ollanta Humala, <2/3
Alan García defeated Ollanta Humala in the Second Round, 52.62% to 47.47%, after apparently capturing most of Lourdes Flores' First Round votes, despite no official endorsement by National Unity. García won in the densely-populated Lima and abroad, and took over Pasco, Tumbes and Ucayali, where Humala had won previously.

Each candidate's strongholds remained the same: the northern and central coast for García, and the southern Andes for Humala. García improved from 16.9% to 68.5% abroad and from 21.8% to 62.0% in Lima, the locations of both of Flores' victories in April. Humala obtained his strongest victory in the region of Ayacucho winning 83.42% to Garcia's 16.57%. Garcia had his greatest margin of victory in La Libertad with 72.54% to Humala's 27.45%. Garcia also won a majority in all of the 43 districts of Lima Province and the 6 districts of Callao. []


Union for Peru obtained 45 out of 120 seats in Congress, more than any other party, but still shy of an absolute majority, despite victories in 16 of 25 Electoral Districts. The Peruvian Aprista Party got the most votes in six Districts and took 36 seats. National Unity obtained 17 seats and a local victory in Lima; Alliance for the Future took 13 seats and won in Pasco; Center Front got 5 seats; ruling party Peru Possible only got 2, after being the stronger party in the 2001-2006 period; and National Restoration took the remaining 2 seats, as well as most votes in Madre de Dios. The latter two obtained barely above the minimum 4% of valid votes nationwide for Congress representation.

right|200px|thumb|Geographic distribution of votes for Congress, by winning party. ">
The strongholds for the three main parties were essentially the same as in the presidential election: the southern Andes for Union for Peru, the northern-central coast for the Peruvian Aprista Party, and Lima (plus voters abroad, which counted as part of this Electoral District) for National Unity.

Former President Alberto Fujimori's daughter Keiko, of Alliance for the Future, obtained 602,869 votes, the highest individual voting nationwide (though it should be taken into account that she ran in Lima, the Electoral District with, by far, the largest electorate). She was followed by Carlos Bruce of Peru Possible, a former Minister of Housing, Construction and Sanitation, with 193,374.

The most voted candidate of the party with the most votes presides over the preparatory board for the installation of the new Congress. However, this corresponded to Carlos Torres Caro, Union for Peru's candidate for Second Vice-President, who, along with Gustavo Espinoza and Rocío González resigned from the party following the Second Round, arguing that Humala's approach to their role as an opposition party was too violent. The three incoming Members of Congress presented the new Peruvian Democratic Party on 26 June. []

Center Front, Peru Possible and National Restoration agreed to formally create a joint group in Congress with their 9 members, under the name of the first party. [] This new group was the only one without representation in the multipartisan Directive Board of the new Congress, led by the Peruvian Aprista Party's Mercedes Cabanillas as president.

The seat allocation by electoral district is broken down in the table below. Colored cells indicate the party obtaining the most votes in each Electoral District.

Andean Parliament

Only the three main parties obtained representation in the Andean Parliament, with Union for Peru and the Peruvian Aprista Party obtaining 2 seats (plus 4 substitutes) each, and National Unity getting one seat (and two substitutes). Union for Peru got the most votes, with 24.0% of the valid ballots. Congressman Rafael Rey of National Unity obtained the most individual votes, with 611,638, after which he announced his own and his party National Renewal's departure from the coalition. []


Presidential tickets


24 parties presented up to 130 candidates to Congress each, for a total of 2,918 candidates. 331 of these were rejected by the National Jury of Elections, leaving 2,587 candidates. These represent all parties with presidential candidates, plus Peru Possible, Independent Moralizing Front, Project Country, and ("Frente Popular Agrícola FIA del Perú", FREPAP). Sí Cumple did not register any candidates.

The table below shows the breakdown of candidates by Electoral District. Votes by 457,891 Peruvians residing abroad were counted in the Lima Electoral District (the number of voters in the table includes them).

Andean Parliament

A total of 21 parties nominated 15 candidates for the Andean Parliament each, for a total of 315 candidates. 73 candidates were rejected by the National Jury of Elections, leaving 242 candidates from 19 parties. Participating parties include all those with Congressional candidates, except And It's Called Peru, Decentralization Coalition, Democratic Force, FREPAP and Let's Make Progress Peru.


Main presidential candidates

* Lourdes Flores is the leader of the conservative, right-wing National Unity coalition. She is a former Congresswoman and came in third place in the 2001 presidential election. She was often targeted as the candidate of the rich and was accused by opponents of not caring about the poor. Her running mate was Arturo Woodman, a well-known entrepreneur, who also led the organization of the 2004 Copa América and the 2005 U-17 World Championship.

* Alan García is the leader of left-leaning Peruvian Aprista Party and was President of Peru from 1985 to 1990. His presidency was marked by hyperinflation and an economic crisis, as well as widespread terrorist activities and isolation from the international community; however, he came in second place in the 2001 presidential election, losing in the runoff against Alejandro Toledo. Critics often pointed to his administration as a failure to be repeated if he got elected.

* Ollanta Humala is the leader of the left-wing Peruvian Nationalist Party, but ran under the Union for Peru banner. He is a Lieutenant Colonel (retired) and led an uprising in October 2000 against then President Alberto Fujimori, for which he was pardoned by Congress following Fujimori's fall in November. He spoke of the "refoundation" of the country in a "Second Republic" and called for the rewriting of the Constitution by a Constituent Assembly. Opponents criticized his lack of political experience, his perceived authoriarianism and populism. He was constantly associated during the campaign with his brothers Ulises and Antauro, though their "etnocacerista movement" is more radical than his nationalist movement. Ulises also ran for President in this election with Go On Country; Antauro, who participated in the 2000 insurrection, is in prison, following his own brief rebellion in January 2005 against President Alejandro Toledo, but also ran for Congress.

Other candidates

* Martha Chávez was the candidate of the pro-Fujimori Alliance for the Future. She is currently a Congresswoman and was the first female President of Congress. A staunch defender of the former president, she was suspended from Congress in 2002 after corruption accusations, but was reinstated in 2005. Vice-presidential candidate Santiago Fujimori is Alberto's younger brother. As with all "fujimoristas", she was criticized for defending an administration that is seen as corrupt and authoritarian.

*Valentín Paniagua was the leader of the Center Front, a coalition of centrist parties formed for this election. He was President of Congress before becoming the interim President of Peru (November 2000-July 2001), following the collapse of Fujimori's administration. Running mate Alberto Andrade was mayor of Lima from 1996 to 2002.

*Natale Amprimo (Alliance for Progress), Javier Diez Canseco (Partido Socialista) and Luis Guerrero (Perú Ahora) are current Members of Congress. Guerrero was also mayor of Cajamarca.

*Alberto Borea (Democratic Force) is a former Deputy and Senator. In 1992, he participated in a failed coup against Fujimori, led by Jaime Salinas Sedó, whose son was National Justice's candidate in this election, Jaime Salinas.

*Humberto Lay Sun (National Restoration) is an evangelical pastor and was a member of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, established to study the atrocities committed in the 1980s and 1990s. Running mate Máximo San Román was Fujimori's Vice-President, but split with him after the 1992 self-coup.

*Susana Villarán (Decentralization Coalition) was Minister of Women's Promotion and Social Development during Paniagua's tenure.

*Alberto Fujimori's candidacy was rejected after a ban by Congress forbidding him to hold office until 2011 was upheld.

*Ruling party Peru Possible and ally Independent Moralizing Front (FIM) withdrew their candidates. PP's candidate Rafael Belaúnde was not a party member and clashed with the party's core over the congressional candidate list, which included some people he did not approve of. FIM's leader Fernando Olivera, quit to run for Congress, realizing his slim chances in the presidential race.

Presidential Debate

The only official presidential debate was held on May 21, 2006 between Ollanta Humala and Alan García, with journalist Augusto Álvarez Rodrich as moderator, in the National Museum of Archaeology. There were no debates before the First Round.

Humala arrived late, so García started the debate on his own, claiming that his opponent had "stopped at a bar for a sandwich" and accusing him of having "no respect for the country". Humala accused "Aprista" supporters of delaying his arrival.

Álvarez Rodrich asked Humala to remove a small Peruvian flag on his podium before his first intervention, in order to have equitative images for both contenders. The candidate refused, saying that the national symbol was nothing to be ashamed about and arguing that the debate arrangements did not forbid using it, leading the moderator to withdraw the flag himself.

The Union for Peru candidate attacked García's position on a bilateral free trade agreement with the United States as "ambiguous"; said that Vladimiro Montesinos would evidently vote for his opponent (since the former intelligence chief had recently claimed that Humala's uprising in 2001 had been staged as a distraction for his escape from the country); reminded the audience of a tape showing Montesinos bribing former Peruvian Aprista Party Secretary-General Agustín Mantilla; alluded to a paramilitary group that operated during García's presidency; promised not to receive his salary if he got elected, but only his payments as a retired Lieutenant Colonel; proposed the formation of a Constituent Assembly to rewrite the Constitution on the basis of its 1979 version; and suggested the possibility of reopening a penitentiary, where corrupt government officials and "ex-presidents" would be sent, in a tacit attack at García.

García called Humala a "demagogue" for promising to lower fuel prices by 30 percent; reminded his opponent of his earnings as a military attaché in France and South Korea; called on Humala for asking García to clarify whether he would free Montesinos or not, saying that such decision would concern the Judiciary branch anyway and that pretending to take such powers would be undemocratic, "in the style of (Hugo) Chávez"; indirectly pointed to Humala's support of his bother Antauro's 2005 rebellion, leading to the death of four policemen; and promised to enforce the payment of extra hours, stop arbitrary employment terminations and change some aspects of pension systems.

The media and political analysts described the debate mostly as "boring" and centered on personal attacks, with García not delivering a decisive victory, despite his much greater political experience. [] [] Opinion polls in Metropolitan Lima and Callao gave García a clear victory over Humala, though these were anti-Humala strongholds throughout the campaign. [] [] []

A debate between the technical teams of both candidates was held on May 28 in the Museum of the Nation.


* Important issues during the campaign included economic policy, unemployment, education, healthcare, drug trafficking, terrorist activities, the exploitation of the Camisea natural gas reserves, the management of ports by foreign companies, a maritime border dispute with Chile, birth control and abortion, and renewal of Congress.

* In January 2006, Ollanta Humala attended a ceremony held in honor of then President-Elect of Bolivia, Evo Morales, by Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, who publicly endorsed Humala. [] Chávez also called Lourdes Flores "the candidate of the Peruvian oligarchy". [] These events prompted a row between Chávez and the Peruvian government, who accused him of interfering in Peru's internal affairs. Humala later met with Brazilian and Argentine presidents Lula da Silva and Néstor Kirchner. The former had also invited Flores and García, but they declined.

*In late April, after Chávez announced that Venezuela would leave the Andean Community unless Colombia, Ecuador and Peru abandoned their plans for Free Trade Agreements with the United States, Alan García criticized him, arguing that this was equivalent to blackmail, and that it was very hypocritical, considering the amounts of oil exports from Venezuela to the US. Chávez responded by calling García "corrupt" and a "thief", and the new candidate of Peru's rich and of the US, following Flores' defeat. He also endorsed Humala again and threatened to withdraw his ambassador to Peru if García won. After accusations by García and the Peruvian government of interference in the election by the Venezuelan president, Toledo and García were called "caimans from the same well" and the former was labelled as US President Bush's "puppet" and "office boy" by Chávez. This led to the mutual withdrawal of ambassadors. [] Interestingly, García had been the notable exception to criticism of Humala's January meeting with Chávez, in an apparent move to avoid confrontation with the latter, who could be a leftist ally in the region during his potential presidency.

* On May 25, a violent clash between supporters of Ollanta Humala and Alan García in Cusco left five injured people, including two (three by other accounts) wounded by gunshot. []

* National Unity was accused of buying off candidates to pull out of the race, including Fernando Olivera, who did withdraw, and Jaime Salinas. Olivera's FIM party later showed TV advertisements directly attacking Alan García, and was ordered to stop by the National Jury of Elections. The ruling was not obeyed and Jorge Del Castillo, Secretary General of Peruvian Aprista Party and Member of Congress, showed documents allegedly proving a secret pact between FIM and Lourdes Flores' Unidad Nacional party accounting for the attacks on García. In response, Olivera sued him for forging the documents. []

* A section of National Unity accused the Peruvian Aprista Party of electoral fraud, following the narrow victory of Alan García over Lourdes Flores in the race for the second runoff spot. []

* On April 7, just two days before the First Round, José Cardó Guarderas (Democratic Reconstruction) and Ciro Gálvez (Andean Renaissance) dropped from the presidential race and announced their support for Lourdes Flores' candidacy and their opposition to Ollanta Humala's. Only Cardó presented his official resignation to the National Jury of Elections, but his votes were still counted officially. The day before, Ricardo Wong (And It's Called Peru), who had withdrawn his candidacy before and later retracted, announced that he dropped the race in favor of Alan García. Given the proximity of the election, there were no changes to the ballot. []

* Ollanta Humala was accused of torturing and killing peasants under the "nom de guerre" "Capitán Carlos" when he was the commander of a military base in the jungle from 1992 to 1993. National Unity was accused of buying off witnesses to testify against him. His brother Antauro confirmed that he used that name and said that he acted "according to the rules of the Army". []

* In December 2005, Peru reached a deal with the United States on a Free Trade Agreement between the two countries. Some candidates, such as Ollanta Humala, opposed the agreement, others like Lourdes Flores supported it, and still others like Alan García approved parts of it and advocated revising it. The Toledo administration announced that it would be signed after the First Round in order to avoid affecting the election's outcome [] . The agreement was finally signed on April 12 in Washington, D.C., and ratified by Peru's Congress on June 28, but must be ratified by the U.S. Congress before coming into force.

* Isaac Humala, father of candidates Ollanta and Ulises, said that he would free Shining Path and MRTA leaders Abimael Guzmán and Víctor Polay, since he considered that terrorist movements no longer represent a threat to Peruvian society. This came after a letter was signed by several public figures, including Ulises and fellow candidates Javier Diez Canseco and Alberto Moreno, demanding a fair trial for Polay. Most candidates rushed to condemn Isaac Humala's comments, including Ollanta and even Ulises, whose candidacy had been openly supported by his father. [] Around the same time, Elena Humala, the candidates' mother, claimed that homosexuals and rapists should be shot [] , which apparently prompted Ollanta to ask his parents to stop making public statements.

* In an April 4 interview with Argentine newspaper Página/12, Ollanta Humala claimed that, if Lourdes Flores were elected, she would be overthrown in less than a year. [] Given his past uprising, this was interpreted as a coup threat, leading opponents to accuse him again of having no respect for democracy.

* Peru's only living Roman Catholic Cardinal, Juan Luis Cipriani exhorted the electorate not to fall for "messianic" candidates, in one of several tacit references to Ollanta Humala. []

* Minister of Justice Alejandro Tudela Chipotea announced that Antauro and Ollanta Humala would be sued for complicity with Vladimiro Montesinos. While their October 2001 uprising was publicized as an insurrection against the Fujimori administration, there have been accusations of it being staged in order to create a distraction so that the fugitive Montesinos could flee the country, which he did the same day aboard a yacht. César Mojovich, a former National Police Commissioner of Toquepala, revealed this in a TV show, and apparently there are records of calls from Montesinos to the Humala brothers' military base just hours before the uprising. [] In mid-May 2006, Montesinos himself claimed that Humala's uprising was indeed a farce, though his statements were interpreted by some as an attempt to affect the outcome of the runoff election. []

* Union for Peru's vice-presidential candidate Carlos Torres Caro was accused of sexual harassment by two of his former students, and of electoral fraud cover-up in 1995. [] The presidential candidate for Project Country, Marco Antonio Arrunátegui, who withdrew from the race, had a pending judicial process for sexual exploitation of minors. []

* The National Electoral Jury admitted the failure of an Electoral Ethical Pact between the parties, given the widespread personal attacks between the candidates. Asociación Civil Transparencia, an unaffiliated citizen group, also lamented the overall tone of the campaign. []

* OAS and European Parliament observers denied the possibility of an electoral fraud, [] which was suggested by Ollanta Humala, who accused the government of favoring Lourdes Flores in the First Round. The OAS mission sent personnel to emergency zones in Peru, where remnants of Shining Path ("Sendero Luminoso") were known to operate. SL called for a boycott of the election. []

* The election was initially going to use two separate ballots, by decision of the National Office of Electoral Processes: one for the Presidential election, the other for the Congressional and Andean Parliament elections. After the formal protest of several parties, the National Jury of Elections ruled that the ballots had to be merged into one. []

* Members of the Armed Forces and the National Police were able to vote for the first time in 180 years. Up to 50% were eligible to vote, [] [ video] with an estimated 35% actually voting. []

Opinion poll results

External links

* [ "Peru Election 2006", Weblog of the University of British Columbia]
* [ Election Guide: Peru] "IFES Election Guide"
* [ Video of Garcia-Humala Presidential Debate] "Peruvian National Television"
* Wrong way elections [ table] at the [ Center for Range Voting]
* [ "Background Q&A: Peru's Elections"] March 10, 2006 "Council on Foreign Relations"
* [ "Peruvian Elections"] June 1, 2006 "Council on Hemispheric Affairs"
*es icon [ "Elecciones 2006: Usted Decide"] "El Comercio" newspaper's election coverage
*es icon [ National Jury of Elections (JNE)]
*es icon [ National Jury of Elections' candidate search engine]
*es icon [ National Office of Electoral Processes (ONPE)]
*es icon [ ballot for Lima Electoral District]
*es icon [ Internet resources on Peruvian Elections 2006]

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