Fernando Belaúnde Terry founded Popular Action (Acción Popular--AP) in 1956 as a reformist alternative to the status quo conservative forces and the controversial APRA party. Although Belaúnde's message was not all that different from APRA's, his tactics were more inclusive and less confrontational. He was able to appeal to some of the same political base as APRA, primarily the middle class, but also to a wider base of professionals and white-collar workers. The AP had significant electoral success, attaining the presidency in 1963 and 1980, but the party was more of an electoral machine for the persona of Belaúnde than an institutionalized organization. In addition, whereas in the 1960s the AP was seen as a reformist party, by the 1980s--as Peru's political spectrum had shifted substantially to the left--the AP was positioned on the center-right. With the debacle of the second Belaúnde government, the AP fared disastrously in 1985, attaining only 6.4 percent of the vote. In 1990 the AP participated in the elections as a part of the conservative coalition behind Mario Vargas Llosa and suffered, as did all political parties, an electoral rejection.
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