Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

Peru’s presidential election: No lesser evil

Posted in News and Articles, Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on June 3, 2011

by The Economist, June 2nd, 2011.

Voters find it hard to choose between Keiko Fujimori and Ollanta Humala

Eight weeks is an unusually long time for the campaigning in a run-off election. It has been long enough to polarise Peru and to create some unusual political bedfellows. But it has not established a clear winner in the vote on June 5th, nor thrown much light on the prospects for the country’s democracy and its economic boom in the coming years.The last opinion polls before a pre-election ban on their publication, placed Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of a former president, and Ollanta Humala, a nationalist former army officer, within a point or two of each other. Both are populists with weak democratic credentials; they benefited from the dispersal of the centrist vote among three defeated candidates. Both are trying hard to seem moderate.Ms Fujimori’s father, Alberto, is serving a 25-year sentence for authorising a death squad that killed 25 people when, as Peru’s president between 1990 and 2000, he defeated the Shining Path, a Maoist terror group. He allowed his spy chief, Vladimiro Montesinos, to run a systematic corruption racket. But Ms Fujimori is evoking her father’s liberal economic reforms which rescued Peru from economic collapse and laid the foundations for today’s boom. She promises to stick with investor-friendly policies. She has backed away from an earlier pledge to pardon her father, saying she would respect the decisions of the courts. And she admits that “mistakes” were made by her father’s government, in which she acted as first lady after her parents separated. (continue reading… )

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