Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

Green shoots for the Peruvian left

Posted in News and Articles, Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on October 7, 2010

by The Economist – Americas View, October 6th, 2010.

Although the results of the mayoral election held on October 3rd in Lima are still not official, the numbers released so far suggest that the country’s beleaguered left wing has eked out a rare victory. With 73% of the votes counted, Susana Villarán, a teacher and advocate for women’s rights who promised an honest and efficient administration, had received 38.5% of the vote. Her conservative opponent, Lourdes Flores, trailed with 37.6%. If Ms Villarán’s lead holds, she will become the first elected female mayor of Peru’s capital, and the first candidate from a left-wing party to win the post since 1983.

This does not mean the Peruvian left is out of the doldrums. Ms Villarán’s success owes largely to a lacklustre campaign by Ms Flores, who came off as aloof and was recorded saying she did not actually want the job. Moreover, Ms Villarán will have trouble governing if she does win. Her new Fuerza Social (Social Force) party did not win any of the sub-mayoralties of Lima’s 42 districts. And the media are stacked against her: on election day, the La Razón newspaper’s headline read “Between Terrorism and the Future,” with Ms Villarán’s photo near the word “terrorism”. (continue reading… )

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