Peru voters back anti-corruption in referendum

Latin America

A voter signs her name after having voted in a referendum aimed at curbing corruption in Lima, Peru, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018. The four questions on the ballot include measures that would prohibit legislators from immediate reelection, create stricter campaign finance rules and reform a scandal-tainted council charged with selecting judges. (AP Photo/Cesar Olmos)

Peru voted overwhelmingly to support an overhaul of the country’s judiciary and corruption-plagued political institutions.

CGTN’s Dan Collyns tells us this all comes in the wake of scandals that have rocked the country.

With more than 85 percent voting to back President Martin Vizcarra’s proposals, it’s a show of support for the leader who has become an unlikely people’s champion.

“The only thing that these results show is that democracy has been strengthened. We are on the road to make big changes, and with these results there are no winners or losers, here it is Peru that has won,” says Martin Vizcarra the Peruvian President.

More than three-quarters of Peruvians voted ‘yes’ to reform how judges and prosecutors are selected.

To toughen regulations on financing political parties, adding criminal penalties for those who break the rules and limiting lawmakers’ terms, banning immediate re-election.

On the question of expanding the legislature to a lower and upper house system, the answer was a resounding no. Showing perhaps just how deeply unpopular politicians are.

“They want a complete change; a Congress that represents us. This congress does not live up to their expectations; they don’t believe that the judges are fair, they don’t believe that the police are honorable,” said Rosa Maria Palacios a Broadcaster and Political Commentator.

Opposition leader Keiko Fujimori, whose party still dominates Congress, was jailed under preventative detention as prosecutors investigate campaign funding from Brazilian building company Odebrecht.

Two-time former president Alan Garcia has been barred from the leaving the country over allegations he took bribes from the same firm.

He’s one of four former presidents under investigation for ties with the company, which is at the center of Latin America’s biggest corruption scandal.

There’s been a backlash against graft across the continent. So far, in Peru, the response has been a democratic one.