Friday, April 29, 2011

PERU - Land of twists election

The electoral outcome is a high-risk sport in Peru. But it is difficult for a political commentator does not give in to temptation. Today, the only certainty in this presidential election is that there will be a second round and that no fewer than five candidates are likely to be included. It can happen in a week's election in Peru this happens in a year in Chile and a century in Switzerland, as I say in jest, these days, in my television program.

For twenty years, in fact, the "surprise factor" is a constant polls. In many elections, everything changed suddenly in the final straight, the unusual victory of Alberto Fujimori in the presidential election of 1990 to Susana Villarán for mayor of Lima last November [first left-wing mayor Capital, credited with 2% of the vote two months before the election].

But Peruvians'm accustomed to twists election, the latest twists of this campaign have been very disruptive. Since late 2010, was the favorite of former President Alejandro Toledo, credited with 28% of the vote. Behind him, five points behind, was Keiko Fujimori, daughter of the former head of state today jailed for corruption and violation of human rights, and former mayor of Lima, Luis Castañeda.

Far behind, with only 10% of the vote, was Ollanta Humala [under the banner Gana Peru (Peru winner), a coalition of its formation, the Peruvian Nationalist Party (PNP), and left parties] which seemed to have lost this power of attraction which he had so successfully during the 2006 elections, and former Prime Minister Alejandro Toledo, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who had failed to exceed 5% since the beginning of the campaign.

Until the voters polled regularly by four different institutes, start playing weathervanes, announcing that Humala could, as in 2006, the breakthrough of the first round. This is a consequence of increasing political fragmentation in the context of weakening parties. Thus, the two oldest formations in the country, the American Popular Revolutionary Alliance (APRA) and the Christian People's Party, may not be represented in the next Parliament.

APRA, the party of President Alan Garcia in power today, is credited with 5% of the vote, half the rate of growth of the country. Over the years of electoral events, the ability to erode political representation in Peru, as part of a process of political deterioration in contrast with the excellent results of the Peruvian economy has become one of the most dynamics of the region, even if the poor still account for one third of the population and that the state of basic public services like health, education, security and justice remains disastrous.

None of these substantive issues have been addressed by the candidates, this lack is probably due also to a certain conformity on the part of the majority of candidates who, apart from Ollanta Humala, does not call into question virtually the economic model applied in Peru for two decades.

Humala proposes major changes, such as constitutional reform and renegotiation of free trade agreements and concession contracts for infrastructure and natural resources. It is for this reason that his rise in the polls has caused some nervousness in the business. The author of this article is a columnist for the daily La Republica Peru and newscaster Primera Noticia.

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