Law to exclude Guzman and Mendoza fails, for now
17 June 2018
Legislation under discussion in the Constitutional Commission of the Peruvian Congress designed to exclude candidates from the 2021 presidential elections suffered a setback on 13 June. The legislation, originally promoted by APRA’s Mauricio Mulder, has now been knocked back into next year’s parliamentary agenda. It failed to win sufficient support.
Mulder is the most conspicuous and pugnacious member of the small APRA contingent in Congress. He is viewed as Alan García’s loyal lieutenant, as well as part of the nexus that has linked APRA closely to the Fujimorista Fuerza Popular (FP) in recent years.
Mulder’s law, justified on the basis of strengthening party structures, would have had the effect of excluding Julio Guzmán (of the centrist Morado Party) and Verónika Mendoza (of the left-wing Nuevo Perú party) from running for president in 2021. Backed by FP, the law would, in all probability, have helped Keiko Fujimori’s chances of winning the presidency.
The original legislative proposal stipulated that all candidates would need to show three years of militancy in their respective parties before they could run. It was designed to stop candidates from new parties from standing. Mulder’s bill would have affected the 2021 elections, though members of the commission argued that it should only come into effect for the subsequent presidential poll in 2026.
Mulder tried to prevent such a delay, but members of the commission refused to authorise a move that would have precluded candidates currently seeking official registration. Opinion polls suggest that Guzman and Mendoza are among the would-be candidates with strongest popular support.