Government

Peru is a presidential representative democratic republic with a multi-party system. Under the current constitution, the President is the head of state and government; he or she is elected for five years and cannot seek immediate re-election, he or she must stand down for at least one full constitutional term before reelection. The President designates the Prime Minister and, with his advice, the rest of the Council of Ministers. There is a unicameral Congress with 120 members elected for a five-year term. Bills may be proposed by either the executive or the legislative branch; they become law after being passed by Congress and promulgated by the President. The judiciary is nominally independent, though political intervention into judicial matters has been common throughout history and arguably continues today.

The Peruvian government is directly elected, and voting is compulsory for all citizens aged 18 to 70. General elections held in 2006 ended in a second round victory for presidential candidate Alan García of the Peruvian Aprista Party (52.6% of valid votes) over Ollanta Humala of Union for Peru (47.4%). Congress is currently composed of the Peruvian Aprista Party (36 seats), Peruvian Nationalist Party (23 seats), Union for Peru (19 seats), National Unity (15 seats), the Fujimorista Alliance for the Future (13 seats), the Parliamentary Alliance (9 seats) and the Democratic Special Parliamentary Group (5 seats).

Peruvian foreign relations have been dominated by border conflicts with neighboring countries, most of which were settled during the 20th century. There is still an ongoing dispute with Chile over maritime limits in the Pacific Ocean. Peru is an active member of several regional blocs and one of the founders of the Andean Community of Nations. It is also a participant in international organizations such as the Organization of American States and the United Nations. The Peruvian military is composed of an army, a navy and an air force; its primary mission is to safeguard the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country. The armed forces are subordinate to the Ministry of Defense and to the President as Commander-in-Chief. Conscription was abolished in 1999 and replaced by voluntary military service.

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