The Electoral System
Suffrage was free, equal, secret, and obligatory for
those between the ages of eighteen and seventy. The right
participate in politics could only be taken away when one
sentenced to prison or given a sentence that stripped a
his or her political rights. No political party was given
preference by the government, and free access to the
governmentowned mass media was given in proportion to the percentage
that party's results in the previous election. The
Elections Board, which was autonomous, was responsible for
electoral processes at the national and local levels.
National elections for the presidency and the Congress
held every five years. If no one presidential candidate
an absolute majority, the first- and second-place
in a runoff election. The president could not be reelected
consecutive term, but deputies and senators could be.
Direct municipal elections were held every three years.
Regional governments were elected every five years.
regional governments were held in conjunction with either
December 1989 municipal or April 1990 national elections.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the electoral
under substantial threat from the SL, which made the
of elections an explicit goal. Despite terrorist threats
1990 presidential elections, voter turnout was higher than
1985, with the exception of some emergency zones in the
Sierra, where the abstention rate was as high as 40
and blank voting was about 14.5 percent of the total in
round in 1990 and 9.5 percent in the second (see
table 20, Appendix).
The threat from the SL was such that in some remote
towns, there were no local officials at all, because
candidates were not willing to jeopardize their lives in
run for office. Although there was no doubt that the SL
jeopardize the 1990 elections, it managed to pose a
threat to the process, particularly in remote rural areas.
the severity and brutality of the SL's threat, it was
credit to the Peruvian electoral process that elections
regularly and with such high voter-turnout ratios,
for not voting were also a factor.
Data as of September 1992