On Monday, January 28, the Board of Spokespersons, which brings together the principal speakers of the parliamentary groups, decided to restructure the composition of the Congress’ Directing Council. The decision was taken amid the incorporation of three new benches to the Legislative branch: Cambio 21, la Bancada Libertad and Unidos por la República. As a result of this, Fuerza Popular (the main opposition party) has lost its absolute majority in the body that sets the agenda for each plenary session, and lost representation in various congressional committees.
The Directing Council is the parliamentary body that, in addition to other administrative functions, determines the bills that will be debated on the Congress floor. With the incorporation of new benches and the resignation of six pro-Fujimori legislators, the other parliamentary groups asked for the “reconfiguration” of the directive and legislative committees. Thus, Fuerza Popular (opposition), which previously controlled 14 of the 24 seats on the Directing Council, now has 10. Without an absolute majority, Fujimorism will no longer be able to set the agenda. Daniel Salaverry, president of Congress, says the restructuring will lead to a more dialogue-centered Congress.
Meanwhile, on January 30 the new Directing Council approved the redistribution of ordinary and special committees to guarantee the representation of the benches. With the new distribution, Fuerza Popular lost representation, although it will continue to hold the presidency of 13 ordinary committees. Also, although Fujimorism will continue to occupy the majority of seats on the Directing Council, it will lose its absolute majority and therefore be forced to negotiate with other benches to adopt agreements.