29 July 2016
When it finally came to electing Luz Salgado, a Fujimori traditionalist, as president of Congress for the forthcoming year, APRA and Alianza para el Progreso (of César Acuña) threw their lot in with Fuerza Popular (FP), with Ricard Acuña (APP) and Elías Rodríguez (APRA) sharing in the presidency. So it was that Salgado received 87 votes (out of 130), more than two-thirds.
Congresssmen for Peruanos por el Kambio (PPK), who support Kuczynski, abstained. The Frente Amplio (FA), despite its relatively few numbers, had put up an opposition candidate to Salgado, Wilber Rozas, a member of parliament for Cuzco.
The alliance between FP, APP and APRA, as well as the position adopted by PPK, give clues as to the shape of things to come in Congress. The Kuczynski government cannot afford, politically, to antagonise the Fujimoristas, while APP and APRA reveal their own conservative instincts. This leaves the FA as the only real parliamentary opposition.
The ability of FP, APP and APRA to muster two-thirds of the membership of Congress gives them the power to make potentially important decisions on their own, such as appointing the Ombudsman (Defensor del Pueblo) and members of the Constitutional Tribunal. With a two-thirds majority, too, it becomes possible for them to initiate constitutional amendments.