Whether or not a member of the dissolved Congress can legally run as a candidate for the new Congress in January is a matter of heated debate. A number of former congressmen, beginning with APRA’s Mauricio Mulder, have put their names forward as candidates, as have prominent former fujimoristas. The Jurado Nacional de Elecciones (JNE) will decide this week if this is legal.

As readers will recall, one of the reforms which the executive put to Congress earlier this year and which had been approved in last December’s referendum sought to prevent immediate re-election of members of the legislature.

The head of the organisation that administers elections (ONPE), Manuel Francisco Cox, on 30 October, sought clarification from the JNE on this point. In response to a similar question from the electoral court in Ica, the JNE responded on 8 November that it would make a decision on Monday 11th. 18 November is the date by which parties are officially to nominate their candidates for the new Congress.

However, the former JNE head, Francisco Távara, has offered his opinion, suggesting that the principle of no re-election should be upheld.  But he also said that it was up to the JNE to examine candidacies one-by-one so as to determine whether they meet the legal requirements.

Cox raised the point that if this is the case, it may be difficult to meet the deadline for publishing all the required electoral material. It is supposed to have all this material ready at least 45 days before election day.

As of 8 November, no less than 15 members of the dissolved Congress were pressing their names to be accepted as candidates in the new congressional elections. The list may well grow. The great majority are former fujimoristas; hard to avoid the conclusion that there is a rearguard action designed to re-elect the Congress dissolved in September.