|President of |
the Republic of Peru
Presidente de la República del Perú
|Status||Head of State|
Head of Government
|Residence||Palacio de Gobierno|
|Seat||Palacio de Gobierno|
|Appointer||2021 Peruvian general election|
|Term length||Five years|
Not eligible for re-election immediately
|Inaugural holder||José de San Martín (de facto)|
José de la Riva Agüero (first to bear the title)
|Formation||28 February 1823|
|Deputy||Vice President of Peru|
|Salary||S/ 15,500 /month|
The president of Peru (Spanish: Presidente del Perú), formally recognized as the president of the Republic of Peru (Spanish: Presidente de la República del Perú), is the head of state and head of government of Peru. The president is the head of the executive branch and is the Supreme Head of the Armed Forces and Police of Peru. The office of president corresponds to the highest magistracy in the country, making the president the highest ranking public official in Peru.
The president is elected to direct the general policy of the government, work with the Congress of the Republic and the Council of Ministers to enact reform, and be an administrator of the state, enforcing the Constitution of 1993 which establishes the presidential requirements, rights, and obligations. The executive branch is located at the Palacio de Gobierno, located in the historic center of Lima. The building has been used and occupied by the heads of state of Peru, dating back to Francisco Pizarro and the viceroys of Peru.
Ordinarily, the president is elected to a five-year term, and is barred from immediate reelection. A former president can run again after being out of office for a full term. The change of government takes place on 28 July, which is the date of independence from Spain and thus a national holiday.
The Congress of the Republic has the power to end a president's term prematurely through impeachment. Under Article 113 of the Constitution of 1993, the president can be removed due to death, "permanent moral or physical disability" determined by Congress, resignation, fleeing national territory without permission from Congress, or dismissal for committing infractions outlined in Article 117 of the Constitution.
Four presidents of Peru have attempted to resign: Guillermo Billinghurst (forced resignation), Andrés Avelino Cáceres, Alberto Fujimori, and Pedro Pablo Kuczynski. Two presidents have been impeached unsuccessfully, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski and Martín Vizcarra, and three have been successful, Guillermo Billinghurst, Alberto Fujimori and Martín Vizcarra.
The president is elected to a term of 5 years without immediate re-election. A presidential inauguration is held every five years on 28 July in Congress. The last directly elected president was President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who was elected for a term from 2016 to 2021. Following the presidential line of succession, Vice President Martín Vizcarra, former governor of Moquegua, Minister of Transportation, and Ambassador to Canada, succeeded him as president following Kuczynski's resignation in 2018 to fill the remaining term. In 2020, Vizcarra was impeached and removed from office and the presidential line of succession led to the ascension of President of Congress Manuel Merino to the presidency. Merino resigned the office within a week of his inauguration amid pressure from mass protests. Congress elected Francisco Sagasti to fill the remaining term.
There have also been a number of unrecognized presidents. In 1992 and 2019, after the dissolution of Congress, the legislative body unsuccessfully removed the president from office and swore in vice presidents as the de facto president.
There have been a number of presidents that have reached the presidency through a coup d'état. The last successful coup d'état was carried out by Alberto Fujimori in 1992, who is now imprisoned for human rights violations and corruption.
Presidential inaugurations take place in the Congress of the Republic of Peru in the capital city of Lima. Presidential inaugurations always take place on 28 July of its respective year, although in the case of constitutional succession, an inauguration is on the day that the presidential successor arrives in Lima, Peru. The presidential inauguration precedes the National Parade of the Military of Peru.
Foreign dignitaries have often assisted the democratic transition of power in Peru.
The contemporary placed presidential oath in Spanish is as follows:
Yo, Martín Alberto Vizcarra Cornejo, juro por Dios, por la patria, y por todos los peruanos que ejerceré fielmente el cargo de Presidente de la República que me ha confiado el nación para el periodo 2018 a 2021, que defenderé la soberanía nacional y la integridad física y moral de la República, que cumpliré y hare cumplir la constitución política y las leyes del Perú, y que reconocerá, respetando la libertad de corto, la importancia de la Iglesia Católica en la formación cultural y moral de los peruanos. Martín Alberto Vizcarra Cornejo, Presidential Oath of Office July 28, 2018 In English
The English translation is as follows:
I, [complete name of presidential elect], swear to God, to the Homeland, and to all Peruvians that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the Republic of Peru that has been entrusted to me by the Nation for the period [start of mandate] to [end of mandate], that I will defend the sovereignty of the nation as well as the physical and moral integrity of the Nation, that I will comply and enforce the political constitution and laws of Peru, and that I will recognize, respecting freedoms, the importance of the Roman Catholic Church in the cultural and moral formation of Peruvians.
The President of Congress conventionally holds the presidential sash before the President-elect takes the oath of office. Once the President-elect has taken the oath of office, he/she is recognized by all branches of the Government of Peru as the democratic President of the Republic of Peru, symbolized by the President of the Congress passing the presidential sash. The nominee is recognized as the President of Peru with and only with the presidential sash.
As of 2019, there have been two illegitimate presidential inaugurations performed by the Congress of Peru, but not recognized by either the executive branch or the armed forces: one in 1995 and the inauguration of Mercedes Aráoz in 2019 amidst a confrontation between the executive and legislative powers of Peru.
There is also an emphasis on Christianity and the Roman Catholic Church in the oath of office. All presidents of Peru have been Catholic and have taken the oath of office alongside the Christian Bible, and in front of a Catholic Crucifix.
The first State recognizable as such under current concepts in the central Andes was the Wari civilization, whose system of government has not yet been fully unraveled. Later, between the thirteenth century and the sixteenth century, the Inca civilization developed, whose State, based on the political management of reciprocity and alien to all European conceptions of then and now, had the Sapa Inca at its head.
The modern Peruvian state is the heir of the Viceroyalty of Peru. In 1532, the Spanish conquerors arrived in the territory, imposed their dominion and managed to establish a Spanish dependency. This dependence began as governorships corresponding to the conquerors, with the title of Governor. The Governorate of the New Toledo (Diego de Almagro) - which otherwise never consolidated - had as its capital the city of Cusco, the current historical capital of Peru. The Governorate of the New Castile (Francisco Pizarro) had as its capital the City of Kings, as Lima was also called initially and it was on this that the Viceroyalty was instituted after the civil wars.
In 1542, the Viceroyalty of Peru was established, whose government was held by the representative of the King of Spain (Head of State) with the title of Viceroy of Peru (Head of Government). The true organizer of the viceregal state was Francisco de Toledo.
This period had only two stages corresponding to the two Spanish dynasties: the houses of Habsburg and Bourbon, and lasted 282 years from its establishment in 1542 to the Capitulation of Ayacucho in 1824, despite the independence of Peru in 1821.
José Fernando de Abascal was in charge of centralizing Spanish political and military power in Peru. His successors, the last viceroys of Peru were parallel to Jose de San Martin and his first successors. Joaquín de la Pezuela and José de la Serna faced the liberating armies and the last of them signed the capitulation. Finally, Pío Tristán was the interim viceroy in charge of transferring power to the patriots.
In July 1821, during the Peruvian War of Independence, the autonomous states lying in the viceroyalty of Peru declared themselves as independent and sovereign from influence and mediation from the Spanish Empire. Recognizing the impending threat of Spanish backlash to regain their lost colonies, the autonomous viceroyalty began to draft a constitution on which they would decide to base the sovereign nation. Working closely with the Constituent Congress of Peru in 1822, a formal constitution was created, named the Constitution of 1823. Francisco Xavier de Luna Pizarro, a Peruvian politician, presided and led the Constituent Congress of Peru, leading to him being subjectively regarded as the first informal President of Peru.
The first articles of the 1823 Constitution consisted of 24 items, known as the "Bases". These bases formally defined the borders of the Andean nation and formally created the First Republic of Peru, which still holds until the present day. The governing board, led by Luna Pizarro, declared Peruvian autonomy from Spain and a Catholic state. Additionally, the Constitution defined the three powers of the government, the executive, judicial and the legislative power. The Governing board, a colloquial terminology that was used to classify the ten politicians that devised these 24 items, was the first representation of executive power and the executive branch in Peruvian history.
Later, issues arose around the bases which granted the protectorate of Peru, Simon Bolivar, overwhelming power over the legislative and executive organs of the Peruvian government. At the same time, Bolivar was already undergoing a campaign to establish a dictatorship around Andean Latin American nations. As a precursor, this incentivized the initial drafters of the constitution and the Governing Board to accelerate the process of defining reasonable executive powers, balance the three branches of power, and begin to draft an idea for the roles and powers of the official position of state leader of Peru.
The Act of Independence was signed in Lima on 15 August 1821, and soon after the government was left under the charge of José de San Martín with the title of Protector. Later, the legislative branch occupied the executive branch. In 1823 the Congress appointed José de la Riva Agüero as the first President of the Republic of the history of Peru. Since then, that has been the main denomination that has held the great majority of the rulers of Peru. The same first Political Constitution of 1823 (after the appointment of Riva Agüero) recognizes the position, and says ex officio: "Article 72. Resides exclusively the exercise of executive power in a citizen with the name of President of the Republic."
Only two constitutions have been contrary, partially, to the presidential republican system, the Lifetime Political Constitution of 1826 emanating from Simón Bolívar and expressing:
The exercise of the Executive Power resides in a Life President, a Vice President, and four Secretaries of State.
By 1827, an outline of an executive along with the executive branch had been drawn out to prevent a Bolivarian dictatorship which would be seen by the populace as a general return to Spanish tyrannical rule. As a result, on 28 July 1827, Manuel Salazar assumed the formal office of the presidency and became the first president of Peru to be elected by the populace, marking the start of the Presidency of Peru.
The President is head of the general administration of the Republic, and his authority extends both to the preservation of public order internally, and to external security in accordance with the Constitution and laws.
The duties exclusive to the President have been defined the 1823 Constitution as:
The powers of the President of the Republic are:
The powers of the President of the Republic are:
The President of the Republic, in addition to the Head of State, is the Head of the national Government. Its functions are explicit in the Constitution and the Organic Law of the Executive Power.
The acts of the President of the Republic that lack ministerial endorsement are null. It corresponds to the President of the Republic to preside over the Council of Ministers when it is convened or when he attends its sessions. The President of the Republic appoints and removes the President of the council. Appoints and removes the other ministers, on the proposal and with an agreement, respectively, from the President of the council.
The ministers are individually responsible for their own acts and for the presidential acts they endorse. All ministers are jointly and severally liable for criminal acts or violations of the Constitution or the laws that the President of the Republic incurs or that are agreed upon in the council, even if they save their vote unless they resign immediately.
The Constitution of 1993, a product of the Presidency of Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000), is the constitution that is currently in place.
The presidential sash is the most distinctive feature that the President wears and has been used since the beginning of the Republic. It was inherited from the last Viceroys. The placement and delivery of the presidential sash symbolize a democratic transition of power. The band is used by the President of Congress until the new president is sworn in.
It is a bicolor band that carries the national colors (red and white). This band is worn diagonally from the right shoulder to the left side of the waist. At the waist, like a brooch, the band was embroidered in golden thread the Coat of arms of Peru. There is a Lima family that has traditionally made them. They are made to measure for each President and have been used normally with formal suit: suit, tuxedo or military uniform. Since 2006, the Shield was moved up to chest height.
A symbolic act narrated by Ricardo Palma in his famous Peruvian Traditions was made during the confused first half of the 1840s, by President Justo Figuerola. This, in front of the protests made by the pope in front of his home, he asked his daughter to take the presidential band out of the dresser drawer and give it to the people from the balcony. The crowd left happy and alive to Figuerola and went to find someone to impose the garment, which, so many times coveted, this time did not find who wanted to stick it.
The Ministers of State wear a red-and-white sash; Supreme Members, Congressmen of the Republic, Magistrates of the Constitutional Court, Members of the National Council of the Magistracy, Supreme Prosecutors, the Ombudsman, etc., wear red-and-white collars with medals that recognize them as such.
The necklace is the symbol of the highest authority in the country. It is composed of gold and encrusted with diamonds, bearing at the center a medal that contains the coat of arms of Peru. Presidents Oscar R. Benavides Larrea, Manuel Prado y Ugarteche and Jose Luis Bustamante y Rivero notably used the large necklace and other insignias. Its use disappeared after the administration of Fernando Belaúnde Terry. Recently its use was 'revived' by Alan García Pérez in the European Union Summit held precisely in Lima in May 2008.
The President of the Republic carries a plaque in the left upper pocket of the bag in the manner of a lanyard with the insignia of the military command that recognizes him as Supreme Chief of the Armed Forces. It is the heir of the distinctive and military honors worn by presidents belonging to the Armed Forces throughout the history of the country. It is golden and has the shape of a radiant sun.
The staff originates from the Spanish custom of symbolizing power with a cane. The custom was introduced in the eighteenth century in the Andes, after the rebellion of José Gabriel Túpac Amaru and Túpac Catari in 1780 to represent the dignity of mayor of Incas. Unlike Argentina, the use of a cane that symbolizes the power and office of President (symbolically, varayoc), has not been common in the history of the Peruvian presidency and has been replaced innumerable times by the saber or the sword of the military presidents. Only a handful of cases are remarkable. Mariano Ignacio Prado, José Balta and Augusto B. Leguía used it in pictures and presidential photographs. Recently, Alejandro Toledo, made use of the cane in his symbolic assumption to the charge in Cusco and also on a few other occasions. Its most recent use corresponds to 29 July 2008, the date of the traditional military parade, when Alan García carried a small presidential staff, the same one used by Ollanta Humala in the military parade on 29 July 2011.
During its more than 190 years of independence, Peru has been ruled by the military leaders who fought for independence, the leaders of the War of the Pacific, representatives of the aristocracy, and democratically elected leaders. Also, the history of the presidency has involved civil wars, coups and violence. More than once, several individuals claimed the right to be president at the same time.
The following table contains a list of the individuals who have served as President of Peru.
The Constitution of 1823, the first constitution of this country, indicates that to be the President of Peru one must:
The Constitution of 1826, on the other hand, incorporating some subjective concepts, requires the following:
The Constitution of 1856 states the requirements to be president: be Peruvian by birth, citizen in office and thirty-five years of age and ten of domicile in the Republic, which will remain virtually unchanged until today. As of 1979, the requirement of having resided in the country for the last ten years is eliminated.
According to the Organic Law of Elections, they can not run for the Presidency or Vice Presidencies of the Republic:
All former presidents of Peru since 1985 have been prosecuted since leaving office. As of 2021, there are seven living former presidents of Peru. In order of office they are:
The most recent president to die was Alan Garcia (1985-1990, 2006-2011) on 17 April 2019, who died by suicide before being arrested.
Bermudez was sentenced to life in prison by an Italian court in January 2017.
Prior to his resignation in 2000, Alberto Fujimori escaped to Japan seeking political refuge, where he faxed his resignation to Peru. He unsuccessfully attempted to run for a parliamentary position in the Parliament of Japan, and ultimately returned to Latin America in 2006 to run for the 2006 presidential elections.
The refugee president's flight diverted to Chile, where he stayed for six days. Peruvian officials and the President of Peru during the time expressed discontent at Chilean officials for allowing the indicted former president into the continent without repercussion. Ultimately, Fujimori flew back to Peru for unstated reasons and was arrested.
Fujimori was convicted of corruption, bribery, human rights violations, crimes against humanities, murder, and other charges, for 25 years of prison until 2031. Fujimori served his sentence until 2017, where then Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski issued a presidential pardon, clearing Fujimori of his conviction.
Following the resignation of Kuczynski, the pardon was declared illegitimate and Fujimori was arrested and returned to confinement. Presently, Fujimori remains in custody, serving the rest of his 25-year sentence.
Following the end of his term in 2006, Toledo abruptly withdrew from Peruvian politics. Toledo and his spouse, Eliane Karp, both moved to California, in the United States, where they have resided since, to avoid prosecution.
Toledo and the former First Lady were charged with multiple offenses of corruption and probing, and have been summoned to Peru for a trial. Toledo ignored this warning and proceeded to remain in the United States. Toledo claimed to have been a professor at Stanford University, but the university verified that Toledo was solely invited as a one-time guest speaker to the institution.
Many efforts have been made by former President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski and President Martin Vizcarra to extradite Toledo, but no responses have been heard from the United States government.
In March 2019, Toledo was temporarily arrested for public drunkenness in California, and was released later that night. Via a call in, Toledo denied that he was arrested. There is currently a $25,000 reward for the ex-president.
In August 2019, Toledo was finally arrested in Northern California as part of an extradition request from the Ministry of Justice of Peru. He has been held in custody ever since and awaiting for a clear for extradition from the United States government.
Humala and former First Lady Nadine Heredia were abruptly arrested following the end of his term. Both of them were detained for 6 months for investigation on the means of corruption, but were later released.
There were no conclusions or evidence provided by the investigation. Humala continues to reside in Lima awaiting his trial.
Following his resignation in March 2018, Kuczynski quietly left the Government Palace and returned to his home in the district of San Isidro. Kuczynski remained out of the public eye for the following ten months, but was then summoned to the Department of Justice. All of Kuczynski's bank accounts were frozen and he was prohibited from leaving the country.
Kuczynski made few public appearances, but on the first anniversary of his resignation, Kuczynski made his first major public appearance on El Commercio. The former president mentioned his present financial ruins and the amounts of loans he was forced to make. Additionally, Kuczynski mentioned that he felt betrayed by Martin Vizcarra, the incumbent President of Peru who succeeded Kuczynski following his resignation.
On 10 April 2019, Kuczynski was arrested for primary corruption charges on the basis of an ongoing investigation into his connections with Odebrecht, money laundering, and bribery. At the end of his detention, Kuczynski was sentenced to three years of house imprisonment until 2022.
Merino was president for five days from 10 to 15 November 2020, following the impeachment and removal of Martín Vizcarra by the Peruvian Congress, before stepping down amid widespread protests resulting in casualties. He was inaugurated as president following the line of succession established in the constitution.
In contemporary history, two presidents are known not to have been of direct Peruvian descent, being Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000) and Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (2016-2018). Fujimori is of Japanese descent and Kuczynski is of German, French and Polish descent. A majority of presidents have been born in Lima.
Three presidents have been assassinated in Peru's history--Felipe Santiago Salaverry, Tomás Gutiérrez, and Luis Miguel Sánchez Cerro. The president who has reached the longest life span is Francisco Morales Bermúdez (1975-1980), who is currently 99 years of age. One president, Alan García (1985-1990, 2006-2011), committed suicide.
The tallest recorded president is Alan García, who stood at 6'4. The shortest is Alejandro Toledo (2001-2006), who stands at 5'3. The oldest person to assume the presidency was Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (2016-2018) who assumed the presidency at 78 years and 217 days, with the second being Fernando Belaunde Terry (1963-1968, 1980-1985) who assumed his second presidency at 78 years and 39 days.
Three Peruvian presidents lived into their 90's:
Names of incumbents as of 2020: