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Cablegate: The Electoral Process Begins

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

141822Z Dec 05



E.O. 12958: N/A

1. President Alejandro Toledo, on 12/8, officially
proclaimed the dates for the next general election (4/9/06)
and, should it be necessary, presidential run-off (5/7/06).
Currently four alliances and 21 individual parties have
registered to present candidates for President, First Vice
President, Second Vice President, 120 congressional seats,
and, for the Andean Parliament, five legislators and 10
alternates. Up to 14 additional parties are attempting to
register by the deadlines for presenting presidential and
congressional candidates.

2. The electoral calendar runs as follows:

-- 12/10/05: deadline for registering electoral alliances.
A total of four alliances registered: "Unidad Nacional"
("National Unity" - made up of the Popular Christian,
National Solidarity and Renovation parties), the "Central
Front" (made up of the Accion Popular, Somos Peru and
National Independent Coordinator parties), "Decentralized
Harmonizaton" (Social Democratic Party and the Peruvian
Humanist Movement), and "Alliance for the Future" (the
pro-Fujimori New Majority and Change 90 parties).

-- 12/19/05: deadline for parties' internal elections for
presidential and vice presidential nominations.

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-- 01/09/06: deadline for registering presidential/vice
presidential tickets.

-- 01/18/06; deadline for parties to select their
congressional candidates.

-- 01/19/06: deadline for the National Electoral Board to
approve the list of eligible voters.

-- 02/08/06: deadline for the registration of congressional

-- 04/09/06: first round of elections for all elective

-- 05/07/06: second round of elections for president/vice
presidents, should no ticket receive an absolute majority in
the first round.

3. The presidential/vice presidential vote will be held on a
nationwide basis. The ticket that obtains an absolute
majority of the popular vote wins. If no ticket achieves
this majority in the first round on 04/09/06, a second round
will be held four weeks later.

4. Congressional seats are apportioned on a district basis,
with each of the country's 24 departments, plus the city of
Callao, entitled to one legislator each. The remaining 95
seats will be divided between the 25 electoral districts
based on the each district's percentage of the national
population. Lima, the most populous district, has 35 seats,
while Madre de Dios, the least populated, has but one.

5. Voters cast their ballots for a single party's
congressional list in their respective districts, and will
also be entitled to register up to two "preferential votes"
for individual candidates from the party they chose. In
order for a party to obtain a congressional seat, it must
either receive four percent of the national congressional
vote, or win six seats in a single electoral district (in
other words, in Lima). The parties that meet either of these
requirements will then divide up the congressional seats
district-by-district, based on the percentage of the vote
obtained in each respective district.

6. The individuals elected to the Congress will be the
candidates from the winning parties who gained the most
preferential votes. For example, if party "A" runs five
candidates in Puno and wins 40 percent of the vote, it will
be entitled to at least two of the five congressional seats.
These seats will go to the two party "A" candidates who
received the largest number of preferential votes. Thus,
while parties can rank their candidates in order of
preference, the voters have the power to alter this rank
order in determining who will actually represent them in

7. The voting for five Andean Parliament legislators and 10
alternates will be decided on the basis of a single
nationwide district. As with the national congressional
race, voters will choose between different party lists and
can cast up to two "preferential votes" for individual
candidates on the list they choose. The winners will also be
determined on the same basis as the national congressional
election, with seats distributed among the parties based on
their proportional vote (provided they obtain at least four
percent support), and the candidates ranked within each party
based on their "preferential vote" tallies.

8. The Supreme Decree convoking the general elections also
instructed the Ministry of Economy and Finance to take the
necessary steps to transfer the funds budgeted for carrying
out the elections. The National Office for Electoral
Processes (ONPE) is due to receive some 300 million Soles
(USD 88 million), and ONPE Director Magdalena Chu has warned
that delays in providing this funding would complicate her
organization's ability to organize the elections, print up
the ballots and candidate lists, and provide the necessary
training for officials and the citizenry.

9. Septel will report on the status of the presidential and
congressional races as the formal electoral campaign kicks

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