Social Market Economy in the Constitution: Should we change the economic regime?

In a context of political polarization, the proposal for a constitutional change has been gaining support in Peru. Among those who promote radical change, one of the main issues is the role of the State in the economy. On the contrary, for those who oppose constitutional change, the social market economy and the principle of subsidiarity of the State is non-negotiable.
The purpose of this presentation will be to discuss what aspects of the economic constitution would merit a change and what paths constitutional law offers to achieve this objective.
We will discuss the implications of a change in the economic regime expressly set forth in the Constitution, as happens in the Peruvian case, and whether this change would imply a partial reform or a total reform. The latter, as the election of the constitutional economic regime, has been a constant in the last two Peruvian constitutions and can be considered a fundamental decision of the Constituent Power.

Presidency v. Congress? The system of government and a debate of its possible reform in Peru

In Peru, since 2016, there has been a tense interaction between Executive and Legislative Powers. The President, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, was elected by only 40000 votes more than his opponent, Keiko Fujimori. Her political party got 73 seats out of 130 in Congress.

There was frequent use of political control (votes of confidence and censure). After the President’s resignation due to accusations of corruption, the tension did not end when the Vice-President assumed the government. During his term, the new President dissolved the Congress and called for elections. And the new Congress declared his position vacant due to “permanent moral incapacity”.

The institutions related to the interaction between Executive and Legislative branches are in debate (votes of confidence and censure, dissolution of Congress, President’s vacancy). The presentation would discuss possible constitutional reforms, amid the Peruvian political regime: presidential with elements of parliamentarism.

Fundamental rights as reasons and limits to the constitutional reform in Peru

With the aggravation of the political and social crisis, there is a scenario in which total constitutional reform has found an echo. Peru is the country with the highest number of deaths per million people due to Covid-19. When the pandemic began, the State could not guarantee general access to quality health services: 3000 hospital beds and 100 ICU for more than 32 million people.

The Constitutions establish organizational structures to guarantee, as the ultimate goal, people’s rights; thus, in our current context, there is a general idea that such an objective has not been fulfilled. However, constitutional reform is not an unlimited power. The democratic exercise of constituent power must be conducted through an orderly procedure, and it also has certain material limits, such as equal human dignity and fundamental rights. Therefore, in the current debate, fundamental rights are reasons for change, but also to establish better guarantees of development and limits to avoid setbacks.