Peru's Government and Economy
Peru is a constitutional republic. There are three independent branches of the government – the executive, judiciary, and legislative branches – and each is autonomous. Peru’s officials are democratically elected and the government is stable.
The executive branch is made up of the president and two vice presidents. The president appoints a council of ministers that is presided over by the prime minister. Peru’s highest courts include the supreme court and constitutional tribunal. Each region in Peru also has a superior court that operates as a court of appeals for lower courts.
The judiciary branch has traditionally been the weakest part of Peru’s government, as it has been riddled with corruption. Judges have been bribed to make rulings and sway decisions towards certain parties. The Peruvian courts also have a large backlog of cases.
Voting is required for all citizens ages 18 to 70. People that don’t vote can be fined. In the past, military members could not vote, although they can now.
Peru has a fast growing economy — in 2013, the economy grew at a rate of 5.1 percent and the GDP was $210 billion. The Peruvian economy has maintained an average GDP growth rate around 5.6 percent over the past five years and has traditionally had low inflation (in 2013 it was 2.9 percent). Peru had one of the world’s fastest-growing economies between 1994 and 1997, which was largely due to investment reforms made under the Fujimori government from 1990–2000.
The Peruvian economy is bolstered by strong natural resources, include mining in the mountains and along the coast. In fact, Peru is the second largest producer of silver and third largest producer of copper in the world. The last few years have seen high international prices for these minerals and metals, which make up about 60 percent of Peru’s total exports. Other important players in the Peruvian economy include agriculture, manufacturing, banking, and retail services. Foreign investments into oil, gas, and tourism are also significant.