Peru’s smaller political parties continue to drop out of 2016 elections to avoid losing their legal registration for not garnering the minimum elections threshold. A new law establishing a tougher elections threshold cancels the legal status of political parties which do not obtain 5% of the national vote in 2016 elections. The new standard which took effect this year is prompting Peru’s smaller political parties, some of which are headed by high-profile veterans, are withdrawing their candidates from the ballot. Remaining a political party registered with the JNE electoral supervisory carries significant value, or at least being unregistered is a fatal punishment. If a party is unlisted, it has to go through the entire registration process from scratch. Of all the legal paperwork and hurdles, the most difficult requirement is collecting signatures from 3% of the country’s voters, which in 2011 amounted to 493,992. The new law allows parties to abstain from participating in one election cycle without losing its inscription. So the parties performing poorly in the polls are opting to sit out in 2016 in order to regroup for the next election season, as opposed to taking their chances now with an insurmountable downside.
The most notable withdrawal has been President Ollanta Humala’s Peruvian Nationalist Party, which won over a third of Congress in 2011. The ruling party has since suffered mass desertions from liberals who saw Humala’s governing policies at odds with his populist campaign promises. Others left as corruption investigations battered first lady Nadine Heredia and public approval for the “presidential couple” has fallen to below 15%.
Unfortunately for Humala and Heredia, withdrawing from the elections angered loyal partisans enough to prompt more defections, including the 2016 presidential candidate. With the party base eroded down to a shell of what it was after triumphing in 2011, the president and first lady will have to build the base back up without the hard-left platform or a single congressman in the midst of what will likely be more intense investigations into party finances under an unfriendly government.
Full Article: Peru’s small political parties scramble to survive.