The 1990s was a difficult decade for Peru. Political violence and an economic crisis led to a weakening of the political party system and deep citizen mistrust of democracy and politics. The following decade saw further challenges, beginning with a transitioning government after the fall of President Fujimori’s regime and efforts to promote democracy and citizens’ trust. Social demands were not always appropriately met, and hundreds of social conflicts erupted. This all generated an overall atmosphere of mistrust in political parties and politicians.
In this context, in 2005 Peru’s top electoral institution, the National Electoral Jury (JNE), launched efforts to develop the Electoral Ethical Pact (EEP), learning from previous civil society efforts in this area. The JNE requested help from other renowned institutions with experience promoting democratic values, such as the National Accord, Transparencia Association, the Andean Jurist Commission and International IDEA. The objective of developing an EEP was to generate political consensus, improve and increase citizen participation, and consolidate democracy and the rule of law in the country. The Pact included commitments on specific topics such as electoral advertising, state neutrality, candidates’ background information, programmatic platforms and commitments to protect public order during campaigning. It aimed to guarantee that all political groups felt represented in this effort.
The 2005–2006 experience was so successful that it has been re-edited in all subsequent elections, both local and national. It has become an institutionalized practice that relies on the support of all parties, citizens and the media.
For more information on the development of the EEP: Electoral Ethics Pact of 2006 Peru JNE Report