Popular Action (AP)

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Popular Action (AP)

Popular Action (Acción Popular, AP) was founded in 1956 by Fernando Belaúnde and a group of young Peruvian professionals. A reformist alternative to both the oligarchic parties and the increasingly conservative Peruvian Aprista Party (APRA) party, AP quickly established itself as a national organization and serious contender for the presidency. Founded on an amorphous ideology that claimed to have Peru "as a doctrine," AP attracted large segments of the middle class seeking social change within a democratic framework. Belaúnde was elected president in 1963 but was deposed by a military coup in 1968, in the wake of a controversial contract with an American oil company. For most of the 1970s, AP strongly opposed the military government and in 1978 refused to participate in the elections for a constitutional assembly convoked by the regime. This gamble paid off, as Belaúnde won the ensuing 1980 presidential elections. However, AP's second term in office was marked by severe difficulties emanating from growing inflation and mounting political violence. AP became part of the FREDEMO (Frente Democrático) coalition that supported the candidacy of Mario Vargas Llosa for the 1990 elections. (Though he won the first round, Alberto Fujimori won in the runoff.) In the 2000 elections AP's presidential candidate won less than 1 percent of the vote. In 2001 the party did not field a presidential candidate and won only three seats in the 120-seat unicameral congress. In the 2006 presidential elections, AP was part of the alliance Frente de Centro. Its secretary general, former President Valentín Paniagua, won 6 percent of the vote and secured five seats in Congress.

See alsoBelaúnde, Víctor Andrés; Paniagua, Valentín; Peru, Political Parties: Peruvian Aprista Party (PAP/APRA); Vargas Llosa, Mario.


Matos Mar, José. Desborde popular y crisis del estado: Veinte años despues. Lima: Fondo Editorial de Congreso del Perú, 2004.

Parodi Trece, Carlos. Peru, 1960–2000: Políticas económicas y sociales en entornos cambiantes. Lima: Universidad del Pacífico, Centro de Investigación, 2000.

                                           Julio Carrion

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Popular Action (AP)

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