Peru is a republic governed by a constitution promulgated in 1993. This constitution replaced the 1980 constitution, which was suspended in 1992. The new constitution increased the power of the executive and allowed for the reelection of the president to a second term. It also unified the formerly bicameral legislature.
Executive power is vested in a president elected by universal suffrage to a five-year term. Presidents may serve no more than two consecutive terms. Two vice presidents are also elected. The president is assisted by an appointed Cabinet of Ministers.
A single-chamber congress serves as Peru’s legislature. It comprises 120 members elected to five-year terms.
The Peruvian Supreme Court, which sits in Lima, consists of a president and 12 other judges. The judiciary also includes superior courts as well as courts of first instance.
Presidential and legislative elections in the 1990s were dominated by candidates of the center-right Change 90 movement, formed in 1989 to support the presidential candidacy of Alberto Fujimori; the Democratic Front, known as Fredemo, established in 1988 as a center-right coalition; and the leftist American Popular Revolutionary Alliance (APRA), founded in 1924.
Peru is divided for administrative purposes into 25 regional departments, each with a president who resides in the departmental capital.
In 2009 the average life expectancy at birth in Peru was 73 years for women and 69 years for men; the infant mortality rate was 29 per 1,000 live births. Although the government has made some progress in improving medical facilities, sanitation remains inadequate. Cholera outbreaks occur periodically, and a cholera epidemic in 1991 killed more than 1,000 Peruvians and sickened another 150,000.
All males aged 20 to 25 years are liable for two years’ service in the Peruvian military. The country’s armed forces in 2006 included an army of 40,000 members, a navy of 25,000, and an air force of 15,000. Encarta "Peru" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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