Ollanta Humala, who lost the presidential runoff in Peru more narrowly than initially reported (52.5%â€“47.5%), has said he will rule out any cooperation with president-elect AlÃ¡n GarcÃa. Instead, he will lead the opposition, from his position as head of the party that won the most seats (45 of 120) in the parliamentary election that was held at the same time as the first round of the presidential election.
The main significance of this is that in Peru–unlike every other country of Latin America–the elected president must maintain support (or at least avert majority opposition) within the legislature in order to govern. The president governs through a prime minister who, along with the cabinet as a whole, can be ousted in a vote of no-confidence.
Humala said, “I don’t have any confidence at all in Alan Garcia. He ran one of the worst governments in the history of Peru.” No joke. But this time, GarcÃa will not have what he had last time: A legislative majority under his own leadership. He will have to build coalitions, which will not be easy. Without Humala’s party, GarcÃa will need the party of third-place finisher Lourdes Flores and at least one other to forge a majority.
It is not as if GarcÃa would have wanted to coalesce with Humala, anyway. And the last paragraph of the above-linked BBC article notes that Humala may have other avenues with which to lead opposition, other than from within parliament.