The deadline for alliances between parties passed at midnight on 12 December in advance of the presidential elections next 10 April. The deadline produced a number of last-minute political deals, largely because of the need of smaller parties to avoid losing their inscription next year for failing to reach the minimum 5% of the vote.

One of the more significant alliances is between APRA and the PPC (Partido Popular Cristiano), two of the older established parties that still remain. Having undergone major internal divisions in recent weeks, the PPC has finally decided not to present a candidate of its own but to support Alan García. The PPC is a conservative party whose support-base has traditionally been concentrated in upper-income groups in Lima. How much it will help boost support for APRA is unclear, but according to APRA it would mean participation by the PPC in a future Aprista government.

The other deals relate mainly to César Acuña’s Alianza por el Progreso (APP). It has agreed electoral alliances with Somos Perú (a small party founded by a former Lima mayor Alberto Andrade) and Restauración Nacional (led by Humberto Lay, an evangelical who is a regular in presidential elections but who does not tend to score highly). Solidaridad Nacional, the party led by current Lima mayor Luis Castañeda Lossio has entered into an alliance with the Unión para el Perú (UPP), a largely defunct political organisation which supported Ollanta Humala in 2006.

The last week has seen the Acuña campaign gain momentum, attracting people like Anel Townsend, a former women’s minister, and César Villanueva, the former prime minister and president of San Martín region. This week, too, Acuña signed up Luis Fabre, the Uruguayan-born election guru, to mastermind his campaign. Fabre gained celebrity status as the brains behind President Humala’s campaign in 2011 and Susana Villarán’s successful attempt to prevent herself being recalled as mayor of Lima in 2013.

The deadline for alliances, of course, does not stop individuals (possibly with an eye to securing a seat for themselves in the next Congress) signing up to join the campaigns of the main candidates. Nor does it prevent alliances between regional and local parties and national parties. Given their lack of organised support outside Lima, all of the leading candidates are involved in striking deals with local parties with a proven voting record, in return for the offer of positions on their parliamentary lists.