April 10, 2006
Peru Flirts With Chavez-Lite...
...But none of the twenty presidential candidates is even close to a majority, so a runoff is almost unavoidable.
According to AP, Peruvian populist Lt. Col. Ollanta Humala likes to style himself in the mold of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez; his deepest support comes from the rural, Andean mountain provinces once controlled by Peru's "Shining Path" Communist insurgency, which has been more or less moribund for nearly fifteen years now. This part of Peru is still a hot-spot for Marxist-Leninism, as well as virulent anti-white racism.
Humala managed to score a plurality in the presidential elections; but he did not achieve a majority. He will face a runoff against either a center-right former congresswoman, Lourdes Flores, or against center-left former failed Peruvian President Alan Garcia. Both Ms. Flores and Mr. Garcia are much lighter-skinned than Col. Humala, which may play a roll in Peru's racial-charged electorate.
Humala threatens to rule like Chavez; Flores and Garcia promise to maintain Peru's fairly Capitalist economy.
Humala had 27.3 percent of the vote with 46.2 percent of the ballots counted. Pro-business former congresswoman Lourdes Flores had 26.5 and Alan Garcia, a center-leftist ex-president, got 26.1.
But Humala had a wider lead in an unofficial voting sample more representative of the nation. Those results, from the widely respected election watchdog Transparencia, showed him with 29.9 percent of the vote, while Flores and Garcia had 24.4 percent and 24.3 percent respectively. The projection, based on 928 voting tables, had an error margin of less than 1 percentage point.
Assuming that these numbers hold up -- and that whoever takes the second slot (Garcia or Flores) starts with at least the same base of voters as he or she had on the first ballot -- that means that to win against Humala, the Capitalist candidate will need to take about 56% of the vote of those who voted for one of the eighteen other candidates. Since both Garcia and Flores consider Humala anathema -- and assuming their followers by and large do as well -- there is a very good chance that one or the other will be elected instead of the Leftist, authoritarian light-colonel.
- Lourdes Celmira Rosario Flores Nano has been a member of the Partido Popular Cristiano (Popular Christian Party) for her entire adult life. She is very well known in Peru, having run for president in 2001 and having served for several years in the Congress of the Republic. She was also one of the constitutional commissioners who helped write the new constitution after President Alberto Fujimori threw out the 1979 version.
Alan Garcia served a catastrophic term as president. As Wikipedia puts it:Alan Gabriel Ludwig García Pérez (born May 23, 1949 in Lima) was President of Peru from 1985 to 1990. His presidency was marked by bouts of hyperinflation, social turmoil, human rights violations, increasing violence, increase of blackouts in Lima, international financial isolation, a failed attempt to confiscate the 2 main banks and economic downturn.
Other than that, though, he did a great job. His argument today is that his wretched decisions, corruption, and power-drunk dictatorship were all the result of youthful exuberance and high spirits.
Big Lizards is keeping its claws crossed for sanity -- and Ms. Flores -- to prevail in the runoff election. The last things that Latin America needs right now are another Hugo Chavez... or another Jacques Chirac.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, April 10, 2006, at the time of 5:08 AM
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In Peru's election runoff yesterday, populist former President Alan García seems to have beaten Communist rebel leader and Hugo Chávez accolyte Ollanta Humala: With 77 percent of the vote tabulated, electoral authorities said Mr. García had captured... [Read More]
Tracked on June 5, 2006 12:07 PM
The following hissed in response by: Mr. Michael
Dafyyd, I have friends in Peru who have been asking for prayers in this election for weeks. I figure it must be an important election on the World Stage, because the Media in general are just not covering the story... and what a story!
Imagine... the candidate getting the most votes is almost doomed to lose! Whoever comes in second is most likely to become the overall winner! My goodness, how much of a 'Man bites Dog' angle can you GET in an Election story?!?
My prayers for Peru are that Ms Flores Nano gets the Big Win... the previous term of Senor Perez ended up by giving Peru record inflation.
He says now that it was due to his youth and inexperience, but he'd be better at it this time. Yeah. Right. He still got a quarter of the vote.... amazing.
I'll be watching this one very closely; the idea of a Chavez lickspittle running Peru makes my blood run cold. I can understand why the United States as a government has stayed out of this battle, but I cannot for the life of me figure out why the Media have given it a yawn and a pass.
The above hissed in response by: Mr. Michael at April 10, 2006 8:51 PM
The following hissed in response by: Don
"youthful exuberance and high spirits."
Like Salvator Allende's spell as a Facist during the 30's and 40's? One BIIIIIGGGG problem for Ollanta Humala though - no oil in Peru. So where is the money going to come from - nationalisation?
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