computation could be monitored in real time. While officials responded to OAS recommendations, the
government engaged in a diplomatic crusade to contain international criticism. Foreign Minister
Fernando De Trazegnies called meetings with all ambassadors to discuss what the government termed a
breach of international norms and diplomatic custom during the elections.
Diplomatic efforts turned
to rallying Latin American nations against outside interference in domestic political affairs.
On May 22, however, Toledo notified the ONPE of his decision to withdraw from the May 28 election.
He reiterated that he was not withdrawing from the election altogether, but that his participation was
contingent on the postponement of the election to June 18. The OAS, which had attempted to postpone
the election by two weeks (to June 11) announced it was suspending its observation of the elections. The
Carter Center NDI mission and
soon followed suit and withdrew from their respective
planned observations. In its final bulletin before withdrawing, the OAS mission chief, Eduardo Stein,
stated that the government had failed to address problems detected in the first round, ranging from
inadequacies in the computer system and election management, to inequities in media access and
inappropriate use of public resources and concluded that the process was far from being free and fair.
An election season that had started with a bang thus ended with a whimper in the May 28 runoff in which
only one candidate, Alberto Fujimori, had officially agreed to participate. Only one group, the Andean
Parliamentary Commission participated in the observation of the balloting. The level of invalid voting in
the runoff, at 31 percent null, blank or spoiled ballots, was unprecedented, as many Toledo supporters as
well as other citizens fed up with the process opted to spoil their ballots. On June 1, ONPE announced
the official results. Fujimori won the race with 51.2% of the total votes cast. Toledo, who remained
printed on the ballot but opted for a boycott stance, formally took 17.68%. During and after the vote,
another masive wave of peaceful demonstrations and protests took to the plazas in cities throughout Peru.
The reaction of the international community was mixed. While the United States State Department
declared the outcome invalid, a divided OAS, in its annual meeting in Canada, eschewed making any
strong pronouncements on the outcome of the electoral process, preferring instead to focus on the
broader issues of institutional reforms and political reconciliation in Peru.
The Governance Arena
Good governance requires transparency, efficiency, and accountability. Over the last ten years, Peru has
made major gains in government efficiency and some improvement in transparency. Through a sweeping
public sector reform, the Fujimori government has created the regulatory framework for a functioning
market and provided support to areas affected by economic crisis and violence. State capacity to enforce
public order has also improved in contrast to the 1980s, as military, police and civil society collaborated
. Nonetheless, many gains in governance have come at the explicit expense
of democratic norms and institutions.
Governance in the Legislative Branch: Representation
As explained in the previous section, Peru's legislative branch consists of a unicameral Congress, with
members elected by universal vote every five years, coinciding with the presidential elections. The 1993
Constitution invests the Congress with significant powers and prerogatives, including debating and
passing legislation, creating investigative commissions, and forcing cabinet members to step down
The government's top grievance was the French and Portuguese ambassadors' meeting with Toledo prior to the
delivery of ONPE results.
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