On 20 June, the constitutional committee of the Peruvian Congress approved new rules to govern the registration of political parties. Assuming that the rules are approved in the plenum, this will make it far easier for new political groupings to achieve official recognition for electoral purposes. It amends the existing Law on Political Parties.
The committee agreed to establish a minimum of 0.1% of voters as the number of militantes (signed-up members) whose signatures would be needed. This would mean approximately 24,000. Currently, the law establishes 4% of voters, or around 700,000. This is by far the biggest barrier to party entry anywhere in Latin America.
The executive had wanted to reduce the barrier even lower to 0.075%, with the requirement that no more than a third come from the same electoral district.
In addition, parties will need to show that they have a functioning committee of no less than 50 affiliates in no less than 19 regions and 65 provinces. Parties will have a year to show that they can meet these requirements, providing a public register of militantes to the electoral authorities.
The reform will be good news to parties like Nuevo Perú which has struggled to meet the demands of the existing law.
The constitutional commission has also approved other modifications that could impact on elections, such as the de-registration of parties that fail to take part in elections and reducing the minimum vote (la valla) to ensure automatic re-registration subsequent to elections from 6% to 5%.