Peruvian opposition gains leadership in Congress thanks to support of Fujimori’s party

In her first speech as President of the Congress, newly elected President Maria del Carmen Alva called for unity and to "put aside particular interests".

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The opposition to the elected president of Peru, Pedro Castillo, will lead the Congress after controversially leaving out of the contest the official list, for having a member without a parliamentary group at the time of presenting the candidacy.

The winning list to occupy the board of officers was composed of four center-right and right-wing parties, led by lawyer María del Carmen Alva (Acción Popular).

Read also: Check out our coverage on Peru

She will be joined by Lady Camones (Alianza Para el Progreso) as first vice-president, Enrique Wong (Podemos Perú) as second vice-president and Patricia Chirinos (Avanza País) as third vice-president.

Alva stressed the need to seek consensus in a hemicycle fragmented in nine different political forces and to dialogue with the Executive (Photo internet reproduction)

Although the board of officers has no representative of the pro-Fujimori Fuerza Popular, the support of the bench of the right-wing Keiko Fujimori, who lost the presidential elections to Castillo, was key to the triumph of the list headed by Alva.

GOVERNMENT PARTY EXCLUDED

This list obtained 69 votes compared to 10 for the list composed entirely by the ultraconservative Renovación Popular members, while 50 parliamentarians cast blank votes.

The third list, presented by the ruling party Perú Libre together with the leftist Junto por el Perú (JP) and the centrist Somos Perú and Partido Morado, was excluded because the former minister Flor Pablo (Partido Morado) did not have a parliamentary group assigned to her at the time of the presentation of her candidacy.

This decision was widely protested by the Peruvian left and by Pablo, who hours before had announced an alliance as Somos Perú to form a joint parliamentary group.

“I very much regret the obstructionist attitude being shown from day one by a majority of this new Parliament. They limited my participation in list 3 of the Board of Officers with a whimsical interpretation of the rules of Congress,” said Pablo.

CALL FOR UNITY

In her first speech as President of the Congress, Maria del Carmen Alva called for unity and “put aside particular interests”.

Alva stressed the need to seek consensus in a body fragmented into nine different political forces and dialogue with the Executive.

“Let’s put an end to the conflict of powers”, said Alva about the confrontation between the Executive and the Legislative during the last five years, which led the country to have four presidents in five years and two different congresses.

However, the new president of the Peruvian Parliament reaffirmed her commitment to the balance of powers and to the current Constitution, which is expected to be the main battle in the coming months, given the intention of the left to call a referendum to promote a new constitution.

The first activity of the Congress, once constituted, will be this Wednesday, the presidential inauguration of Castillo, elected for the period 2021-2026.

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