The president is popularly elected for a 5-year term, and the 1993 Constitution permits one consecutive re-election. The first and second vice presidents also are popularly elected but have no constitutional functions unless the president is unable to discharge his duties. The principal executive body is the Council of Ministers, headed by a prime minister, all appointed by the president. All presidential decree laws or draft bills sent to Congress must be approved by the Council of Ministers.
The legislative branch consists of a unicameral Congress of 120 members. In addition to passing laws, Congress ratifies treaties, authorizes government loans, and approves the government budget. The president has the power to block legislation with which the executive branch does not agree.
The judicial branch of government is headed by a 16-member Supreme Court seated in Lima. The Constitutional Tribunal interprets the constitution on matters of individual rights. Superior courts in departmental capitals review appeals from decisions by lower courts. Courts of first instance are located in provincial capitals and are divided into civil, penal, and special chambers. The judiciary has created several temporary specialized courts, in an attempt to reduce the large backlog of cases pending final court action. In 1996 a Human Rights Ombudsman's office was created to address human rights issues. Peru is divided into 25 regions. The regions are subdivided into provinces, which are composed of districts. High authorities in the regional and local levels are elected.
Principal Government Officials
President-Alejandro TOLEDO Manrique
First Vice President-vacant
Second Vice President-David WAISMAN Rjavinsthi
President of the Council of Ministers (Prime Minister)-Carlos FERRERO Costa
Foreign-Manuel RODRIGUEZ Cuadros
Defense-Roberto CHIABRA Leon
Economy and Finance-Pedro Pablo KUCZYNSKI Godard
Interior-Javier REATEGUI Rosello
Justice-Carlos GAMARRA Ugaz
Education-Javier SOTA Nadal
Agriculture-Alvaro QUIJANDRIA Salmon
Labor-Javier NEVES Mujica
Trade and Tourism-Alfredo FERRERO Diez Conseco
Production--Javier REATEGUI Rosello Transport and Communications-Jose ORTIZ Rivera
Energy and Mines-Jaime QUIJANDRIA Salmon
Women's Ministry-Ana Maria ROMERO Lauezzari
Ambassador to the United States-Eduardo FERRERO COSTA
Permanent Representative to the United Nations-Oswaldo DE RIVERO
Ambassador to the Organization of American States-Alberto Alfonso BOREA
Peru maintains an embassy in the United States at 1700 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036 (tel. 202-833-9860/67, consular section: 202-462-1084). Peru has consulates in New York; Paterson, NJ; Miami; Chicago; Houston; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Boston; Denver and San Juan, Puerto Rico.