News International review

Peruvians held a referendum aimed at curbing corruption

Yesterday, Peru held a referendum aimed at fighting corruption in the higher echelons of power, said “Al Jazeera“.

There were 5,398 polling stations nationwide, in addition to those set up in embassies and consulates for Peruvians living abroad. Voting was mandatory, and failure to appear was punishable by a fine.

Voters overwhelmingly approved three of the four questions on the ballot, including the prohibition of immediate reelection of legislators, a more stringent regulation of campaign Finance and the reform of the Council responsible for the selection of judges. Most of the proposed measures are expected to be taken in a country with a low level of confidence in elected officials.

The first paragraph of the referendum requires the public to choose the members of the judicial Council, which in turn will select the judges themselves. This, in the view of Peruvian citizens, would improve the court’s accountability and transparency of the process. The second point recognizes illegal receipt by political parties of money from unknown investors or persons with the criminal past. The third will prohibit the immediate re-election of legislators.

The last issue, which the referendum didn`t approve, proposed the creation of a bicameral Congress instead of the current unicameral legislature.

The referendum does not change everything, but it is the beginning of the changes that Peru needs, – said President Martin Vizcarra.

According to analysts, this referendum is not a final decision that can reverse decades of deep-rooted political misdeeds. The results of the referendum only potentially give the government a chance to change the political system.

In recent years, Peru has been shaken by the corruption scandal in the Odebrecht conglomerate, which has nullified the careers of some high-ranking politicians in Latin America. The Brazilian construction company paid $ 800 million to officials in exchange for lucrative contracts.