Peru is a western South American country bordered by Ecuador and Colombia (north), Brazil (east), Bolivia (southeast), Chile (south), and the Pacific Ocean (west). Like many South American countries, Peru is highly biodiverse with a wide variety of landscapes, terrains, plant life and wildlife. Peru’s 32 million-strong population is very much multi-ethnic, and includes Amerindians, Europeans, Africans and Asians. Spanish is the main language used, as well as Quechua, Aymara and several other native languages.
Peru is a sovereign state and a representative democratic republic, which is divided into 25 regions. An emerging market and middle power with good levels of human development, Peru has an upper-middle income level with a relatively-low poverty rate. It has a strong economy with a growth rate of 5.9% which is based largely on mining, manufacturing, agriculture and fishing. The country ranks highly in terms of social freedom, and has the third-lowest homicide rate in South America. Peru is a member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Pacific Alliance, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the World Trade Organization.
The legislative branch
The legislative branch of Peru is based in the Congress of the Republic of Peru, a unicameral house with 130 members. Legislators are elected in the house for five-year terms through proportional representation. Congress votes on legislation which is sent to the president for approval. Congressional seats are assigned to each region based on its population
Congressmen are required to be natural-born Peruvian citizens who are at least 25 years old and must be eligible voters. Presidential candidates cannot run for office while also running for congress, though vice-presidential candidates can do so. High-ranking government officials, members of the armed forces and police officers can only congressmen for a maximum of six months after leaving their posts. All other congressmen, however, serve five-year terms and can be re-elected numerous times – elections take place in April, and happen simultaneously with presidential elections.
The President of Congress is fourth in line to the presidential office if the president and two vice-presidents are incapable of fulfilling the role. The congressional president is elected for one year at a time and can be re-elected, though this is uncommon. His role is to control and guide congressional debates, as well as ratify bills and other decisions made by Congress. Three vice-presidents serve under the President of Congress, to whom responsibility can be delegated.
The Executive Council is made up of four members of the Bureau in addition to representatives from each political party in Congress (known as Executive-Spokespersons). The Council is endowed with administrative and legislative responsibilities. Congress also features a Board of Spokespersons and the Secretariat General.
The executive branch
The President of Peru is the head of state in the country, and is elected for five years in office – the president cannot be elected for a second consecutive term, nor can a member of his family directly succeed him. Martín Vizcarra is the current Peruvian president, and was sworn into office on March 23, 2018 after President Kuczynski resigned. The executive branch of the government may propose legislation, as the legislative branch does. The President then approves legislation, passing it into law.
The executive branch is also made up of the Council of Ministers, which is appointed by the president (as is the Prime Minister).
Ministers of State must meet several requirements, including being born in Peru, be a current citizen, and be 25 years old or older. Ministers can also be members of the Armed Forces and National Police, while members of Congress can also be Ministers of State. Ministers operate in a number of functions, including budget approval, propose internal ministerial organisation, and maintain good relations with regional and local governments. Ministers can delegate responsibility and powers within their ministry, within the parameters of the law.
The judicial branch
The judicial branch of the Peruvian government is represented by the Supreme Court Of Justice. The Supreme Court is composed of 16 members and is divided into three supreme sectors – these are the Civil Sector, which oversees all topics pertaining to civil rights and commercial laws; the Criminal Sector, which presides over topics relating to criminal law; and the Constitutional and Social Sector, which is responsible for issues relating to constitutional rights and labor law.