Five of the ten former members of Congress for Nuevo Perú have abandoned the grouping over its intended alliance with Perú Libre (led by Vladimir Cerrón) and Juntos por el Perú (led by Yehude Simon). They are Marisa Glave, Indira Huilca, Richard Arce, Horacio Zevallos and Tania Pariona.

The resignations come at a critical time as the left prepares the ground for legislative elections next January.

In their resignation statements, all five were especially critical of the mooted alliance with Cerrón. He has been accused of corruption as governor of Junín and has made anti-semitic, mysogenistic and xenophobic remarks. Pariona wrote in the following terms: “The unity of the left is important, it’s what I desire most, but a unity that involves a person who has a sentence for corruption NO. This is a moment to provide a different political vision to new generations”

Since the beginning of the year, Nuevo Perú leaders have met with others on the left with a view to creating a broad left alliance. The list included Cerrón and Simon, as well as Gregorio Santos (the former governor of Cajamarca), Walter Aduviri (the governor of Puno who is currently in jail), Zenon Cuevas (the governor of Moquegua). Marco Arana, the leader of the Frente Amplio rejected such overtures.

For Nuevo Perú, the problem is that it does not have official registration with the electoral authorities that would permit it to stand on its own in elections. Of the parties whose leaders are mentioned above, only Perú Libre and Juntos para el Perú are registered.

While Cerrón has been charged with corruption and jailed, he has been freed from detention but currently has a suspended sentence. For his part, Simon was Alan García’s prime minister at the time of the Bagua killings in 2009 (for which he was held partly responsible) and is suspected of having received money from Odebrecht at the time.

As a political party, Nuevo Perú has managed so far not to be involved with issues of corruption that have shaken the political class in Peru. It has, indeed, taken a principled stand on anti-corruption.

Some members of Nuevo Peru attest to the fact that the proposed alliance with Perú Libre was not discussed in an open or democratic way and that the decision took them by surprise. They feel that the damage to the brand may bring more harm than good.