Lourdes Flores Nano, former president of Popular Christian Party (PPC), claims that President Martín Vizcarra's decision to dissolve Congress was unconstitutional and, personally, hopes that Constitutional Court (TC) put a precedent with its resolution upon request competential of Pedro Olaechea. However, he criticizes the decision of the highest interpreter in Magna Carta not to be a member Gonzalo Ortiz de Zevallos.
In conversation with Mail, former candidate the presidential election also highlights the need for a renewal in politics with regard to the elections congressmen next January.
Were you surprised by the steps taken by President Martín Vizcarra to dissolve Congress?
Although it was an opportunity announced by President Vizcarra himself the day before, I think it has been a constitutional act, I thought he would not.
Do you think there was another scenario before the visible confrontation between the CEO and the legislator?
Of course before, anyway. I believe that the executive, the president of the Republic (Martín Vizcarra), missed several things that happened weeks before and could perfectly have led to an understanding. The message from the President of Congress, Pedro Olaechea, on the assumption that although he had a critical stance and some views on those not elected by the ruling party, he at the same time reached out a hand to talk. Secondly, I believe that it does not add to the importance of assessing the triumph that the government had achieved by introducing all the reforms it had proposed, despite the accidents that might have been. (…) And thirdly, and most painfully, it seems to me that there were quite advanced talks that could have been reached, without the need for this constitutional violation, a solution or agreement, even in the elections.
Do you think the resolution was constitutional?
Under what considerations?
Firstly, since I consider that there is no interpretation in the Peruvian constitution, nor can it exist in the public sphere, as has been said, that there has been an actual denial. The issue of trust is an institution of such magnitude, typical of parliamentary law, which provides a mechanism for the executive to impose itself on the legislative power, to the extent that Congress unequivocally says no. But it cannot be assumed that he said no, even more, when hours later he said yes. Consequently, I think that this resolution is an assumption of a will that Congress has not expressed and which on the contrary expresses in a positive sense and gives confidence. So it is a heroic creation that I think even if it was only symbolic, then TC would say it was not constitutionally correct.
After what happened, do you think the country is about to overcome the political crisis?
As always happens in situations like this, in a very serious conflict, there are always two situations. The legal, where there seems to be a little more debate about how things went. I think you have to let things rest, we will wait until 29 (October) before the adoption and see what the decision from TC. But I am not blind not to realize what is called facts. The reality of the facts is that force has been introduced (…). I hope TC says a word but late. It is very important to take for granted the precedent that what happened was not right. That is my position. And if the court says something else, even if I disagree and disagree, we have to accept it.
Do you think the qualification as an obstructionist for Congress was well founded?
I think the results of Fuerza Popular have generally been negative. In the sense that the first step with Kuczynski was extremely drastic, reflecting a reactive attitude and not understanding the reality of the results of the election campaign. Obviously it was a serious mistake to take it to the end of the vacancy. And in the next step, there have been actions and reactions.
He said he recognized Pedro Olaechea as president of Congress, do you still think he is?
He chairs the Standing Commission and in that sense represents the legislative power in the very limited functions conferred on the Standing Commission by the Constitution during the dissolution phase. Finally, he is the man who represents the legislative power greatly reduced in his functions as a result of an unconstitutional dissolution.
President Vizcarra has been called the dictator, autocrat, for the actions he did, how do you define it?
I don't think the adjectives are the ones that determine the facts. I believe that he has committed a constitutional act and a political mistake, although he gets approval and applause from everyone. It is in a stage of power where it has all the powers without practically control. So he is a ruler who concentrates a lot of power, which is not desirable in democracy. Despite the diplomatic language, the Venice Commission has said one thing that is true: it is not correct to make a matter of trust in constitutional reform, especially as it can break the balance of power. At present, there is a very clear break in power. There is a stump of legislative power concentrated on the Standing Commission, which is in fact an almost table of parts of the urgent decrees dictated by the government, and an enormous power in the executive power. Four months without that control is a lot of power for a ruler, who also shows that he likes popular applause. It will depend a lot on how much oversight the press makes, the political forces that are in the campaign, but there is a lot of power over four months for a ruler.
Will this time be the key to identifying whether or not the president has a clear direction for the country?
That is the responsibility he took for the decision of the size he has taken, which is to remain alone in power and say "everything was left", "I could not control because they hindered me." Okay, sir, you're alone in court, let's see what you do. And then what real management capacity does a team that has been armed in a special circumstance. I wish he did.
TC decided – by majority – not to integrate Gonzalo Ortiz de Zevallos into this institution, do you question this decision?
I disagree with the majority, but I agree with (José Luis) Sardón and (Augusto) Ferrero's voice, but I respect that. It has been an institutional decision. I also think that this is a matter that should be addressed at some point, since in my opinion Parliament correctly appointed the magistrate.
Is there an opinion from Magistrate Carlos Ramos, who was appointed rapporteur in the jurisdiction of Pedro Olaechea?
He was a little talkative, yes, he talked more than he should. Now he has said that was a hypothetical position. Hopefully your presentation, but your presentation will be there and there are seven judges who must vote. What matters is the voice of everyone.
If the reading of TC is that the process of electing Ortiz de Zevallos in Congress was incomplete, is the actual denial left unfounded?
Of course it is. It is a fundamental contradiction, the reason why the Congress dissolved is because it was "actually denied", and it turns out that the facts are not yet finalized. Of course, it's a very clear contradiction.
At that time PPC had an alliance with APRA, was it a wrong decision?
I was the main promoter of that idea, which obviously had a bad election result, so even though I believed in it, it was obviously not a good decision to judge by the result of not having succeeded with the pepecist voter, because it was critical and that In politics it has consequences. The day after the election, I wrote a letter in which I thought and felt that my political life had had a wonderful cycle, and that my duty was what I am now, to propose the re-registration, the institutional reorganization of the party and now I see with Illusion the role that another generation can play.
Was it a mistake?
The results show that it was not a good decision, and I am solely responsible for it. It is a new era, there is a new generation. There are people who want to serve the country, I think there are for 20 and there will be for 21. For me, there are two clear goals: one, a parliament that is always a control of power without hindrance, and it is a value that it there is what to point out You cannot allow an executive with all powers because it only leads to abuse, you have to create a new parliament which is a counterweight. Second, we must commit ourselves to defending what has enabled us to come here; the process of modernizing Peru is not over. "
"They'll make old glories show up"
Would you accept that the members of this dissolved congress apply?
I think the ban on re-election is not in force. The only applicable rule says "During the next period", and that is 2021. So I think some will present themselves and JNE should admit it, but eventually it will be the jury saying their word. Now, already politically, each party must measure whether it is convenient to fill in its list of disputed parliamentarians, but some are struggling.
As they are subjected to this dissatisfaction by citizens …
Our list is led by party president Alberto Beingolea. The Secretary-General, Marisol Pérez Tello, is in the effort to call young people, ours or others, valuable, to give that refreshment to politics. I can say with humility, but with a lot of commitment to the country: we have not been in this conflict, give us the opportunity to be a serious force, critical when it should be, always purposeful, but give us the opportunity to go out to defend the balance of power and an economic model that can be made perfect but not dropped.
This new congress will have new faces; But experience is also important.
I appreciate that some political forces will bring some old glories of "Creole song" to appear, and that's not bad.
Wouldn't you be interested in applying?
No, at least. I told you that I wrote a letter in 2016, because I see that there is a political cycle in my fulfilled life, which does not mean that I am not there; from behind, I will support and do everything in my hands. But no, this is not our case, although we have tried to convince some elderly people; For example, it seemed very important to us that Javier Bedoya de Vivanco was with us. Javier has made his own decision, but there is Javier Bedoya Denegri, his son.
He said "no" to 2020, but to 2021?
Less. You talk to a person who entered political life at 18, who just turned 60; 42 years of life dedicated to political life, happy – if he was born again, he would do the same – but he fully understands that in this, as in everything in life, there are cycles.
How is the schedule for defining the candidates?
It is a responsibility led by the President and the Secretary-General, but the party's current leadership works as quickly as possible and with a sense of responsibility, because it is about offering a good human group. Others will be saved for the choice of 21, and that's fine. We have very clear ideas. We are not going to the presidential election and we are not official, so PPC will be a serious counterbalance and a very important balance. People should know that the PPC players will not be a "yes sir" by the government. They will be a serious and responsible counterbalance, not obstructionist.
Lourdes Flores, former President of PPC
Attorney from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, with a master's degree in jurisdiction.
She was governor, deputy and congressman between 1990 and 2000.