Media Center



  June 6, 2006

The Chief of the Electoral Observation Mission of the Organization of American States (OAS) presented his preliminary report on the second round of the presidential election in Peru on June 4, 2006.

The OAS Mission deployed 123 observers throughout the territory of Peru. Based on reports from observers stationed in 17 different Departments, the Mission can attest that the second round of the presidential election took place in a calm, orderly and transparent fashion.

Peru’s electoral institutions have demonstrated their commitment to ensuring an electoral process that is secure and trustworthy. The OAS Mission considers that these successful elections have legitimated the electoral reforms since the 2001 election and have created an opportunity to consolidate this progress as a platform to build a more inclusive political system.

The Mission congratulates both candidates: Alan Garcia, for his victory and the runner-up, Ollanta Humala, for his performance in the election and acceptance of the results. While the front-runner has won convincingly, the new president will also have an opportunity to reach out across the divisions that were made apparent during this election. While the runner-up has not won in this election, we encourage him to utilize the commitment of his supporters in developing constructive opposition for the benefit of all Peruvians.

We also acknowledge the civic commitment of polling booth officials, scrutineers of both political parties as well as the efforts undertaken by the national observers and delegates of the National Ombudsman’s Office. Their participation contributed significantly to the credibility of these elections.

We also recognize the high level of participation in the elections by the electorate – with turnout at over 90 percent.

Electoral Organization

The role of the authorities in the post-electoral period will be critical and we urge them to continue to perform their duties in close coordination. The improvement in planning was particularly noted with regard to enhanced security, especially in the polling booths where the candidates voted. In the aftermath of the election, the Mission hopes that further steps to enhance coordination among the electoral authorities are considered.

Reports received on the day of the election indicated that of the polls we observed those sworn in as officials were, in general, better trained – or performed better – than in the first round. Our observation indicated that there were no cases of violence or intimidation during the election itself. In the majority of polling booths that we observed, both political parties fielded scrutineers.

The new government has the opportunity to build on existing reforms in order to address the disparities between rural and urban voters with respect to access to vote, right to vote and barriers to voting (for example, information, transportation, and education). The commitment of the new government of Alan Garcia to broader inclusion should focus on this major political divide and deserves the support of the OAS and the broader international community. Of critical importance are issues of registration, documentation and legal identity. The new government may also wish to consider methods such as advance, transit or mobile polls in order to facilitate the ability to vote.

It is worth emphasizing that, in the second round of the election, the transmission of preliminary results contributed materially to the confidence and respect of the candidates, government officials and the population in general. Both candidates acted adequately as unofficial results came in. They did not, however, await official results before speaking to their supporters.

Denunciations and Complaints

The Mission received denunciations regarding the different phases of the electoral process. These were transmitted quickly to the relevant authorities for their attention.

Concerns regarding certain aspects of the new law of political parties were difficult to address or direct to authorities in areas where enforcement capability appeared lacking or where there appeared to be gaps in the law, such as campaign finance, media bias, polling, and statements by public officials during the campaign.

For example, candidates and their family members made public statements to the mass media in the early hours of election day. This generated an avoidable controversy with regard to the enforcement of the electoral law that prohibits campaigning on the day of the election. The Mission received public complaints regarding these actions which - because they have become habitual - should be addressed promptly by the competent authorities.

During the course of observing this election, the Mission heard many concerns with respect to democracy in Peru and the electoral process in particular from across a broad spectrum of Peruvian society. It is worth mentioning the statements made by the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela which were interpreted as interference in the internal affairs of Peru and which generated negative reaction on the part of the two presidential candidates, the political parties they represent, sectors of civil society, government officials, and the mass media. The Peruvian government presented an objection to the General Assembly of the OAS on June 5, 2006, emphasizing their conviction that these actions represented interference in the Peruvian electoral process.

Post-Electoral Environment

While the atmosphere was tense and there were many rumours of possible violence, a generally calm and peaceful environment was observed on election day. Isolated violent events did take place after the close of the polls, especially in Arequipa. The Mission rejects these acts of intolerance and calls upon party members and sympathizers to practice respect and tolerance in this post-electoral stage in order to create opportunities for dialogue and cooperation.

In light of the divisions exposed in the country during this election, and with the regional and municipal elections impending, the Mission trusts a dialogue will be resumed, with the participation of the different sectors of the country, the political parties, and diverse national institutions.

The Mission wishes to thank the electoral institutions, government officials, members of civil society and political parties, and the mass media for the support and receptivity, which allowed the Mission to carry out its activities without any limitation whatsoever.

Reference: MOE-PE-5E