Weak parties could lead to high levels of defection in next Congress

Peru’s weak political parties and high fragmentation among newly elected lawmakers could result in a high risk of party defection in the next Congress, according to political analyst Enrique Bernales.

Bernales, executive director of the Andean Commission of Jurists and a former congressman for the now defunct Izquierda Unida, is calling for lawmakers to reach a political agreement before the next session starts in order to sanction party defection. “I think one of the first agreements, perhaps the first that should be taken in Congress the moment it is installed, is a severe sanction against defection, including the loss of the term in office,” daily La Republica reported Bernales as saying.

Leftist Ollanta Humala’s Gana Peru party will have the biggest block in the 120-member Congress with 46 seats, followed by Keiko Fujimori’s Fuerza 2011 party with 38 seats.

In third place will be ex-President Alejandro Toledo’s Peru Posible party with 21 seats, followed by Pedro Pablo Kuczynski’s Alianza para el Gran Cambio (12 seats) and ex-Lima mayor Luis Castañeda’s Solidaridad Nacional (9 seats).

Peru’s only established political party, President Alan Garcia’s ruling Apra, was hammered during the election and will now have only 4 seats in the next Congress.

Because Peru’s next president – which will be either Humala or Fujimori – will not have a majority in the next Congress, the administration will have to reach compromises with opposition lawmakers to pass legislation.

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