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Tuesday, June 06, 2006 CE

Update regarding the Peruvian Presidential elections

This is the final update regarding the elections in my country, which Diane S, very kindly asked me to write about 2 months ago. The runoff was finally won by Alan Garcia, a center-left politician ho was president of Peru in the period 1985-1990 and that was a disastrous government, which ended in hyperinflation, rampant guerrilla activity and corruption scandals. The loser, Ollanta Humala, is a newcomer to the Peruvian politics and tried to convince the people from a nationalist platform. Many people wrongfully believe that he is a left wing politician. He used the ideal of redistribution of wealth in order to obtain support for a nationalist, ethnocentric (respect to the Indian people), militaristic project. Hugo Chavez was, for sure, supporting his candidacy.

For Peru, I believe, that, in spite of the poor record of Mr. Garcia, democracy has won a a battle. He is a more mature politician now and he does not want to go into the history books as one of the worst presidents in Peruvian history. The socialdemocrat ideology has won a battle and this is positive.

For South America, it is also positive that the influence of Chavez has been at least controlled. Center-left, socialist goverments like the Brazilian and the Chilean have been struggling to control him. In Peru would have fallen into Humala's hands, Chavez would have won an important access to the Pacific Ocean, would have had a say in the handling of the enormous natural gas reservoirs and their ports for exporting it. Besides Colombia, there is no space of right wing governments in South America. The only reason for the maintenance the right there is the presence of the FARC and the need for an opposing ideology to fight it.

Finally one more thing. The exit polls were accurate, with a 0.2 % difference from the official results. For those who have an idea of how Peru is, meaning the difficulty of its geography, the countless ethnic groups and languages spoken, the nature of teh roads and the levels of literacy in some places, it is truly remarkable that the pollsters could achieve such a close approximation. In fact, this has been the case of all elections in Peru, except the one in the 2000, when in fraudulent elections Fujimori "won". After seeing this, for me it is very hard to interpret the 3-4% difference between the exit polls in Ohio and the official results of the US general election. Ohio has far more experienced pollsters, a more homogeneous population, better levels of literacy, it is covered by freeways and is is almost geographically flat compared to Peru. ... Just to think about it.


Blogger Sherril said...

I see by reviewing your past few posts that you, like myself, had taken a bit of an hiatus from blogland. I expect on your part, you have been otherwise occupied with work and Medical School. I am glad to see you are back. I'd commented on your last post regarding your homeland, Peru. I'm glad to see you back and hope to see more of you. As always, I welcome you to my Meanderings, once again, Sherril

12:04 AM  
Blogger Truth Seeker said...


Maybe the polls are more accurate in Peru because the people are more honest about how they voted.

Or, maybe the pollsters are more professional and don't let their own bias affect how they count...

Thanks for the update. I hope the people of Peru get what they want. Of course, almost half "lost".



9:28 PM  
Blogger Diane S. said...

This is fascinating. In America, I don't think there's a chance a politician with his record could have been re-elected, and a candidate for president who has lost once is likely never to run again.

I'm glad you feel good about the results. Given the choices, so do I. But then it always comes to that, doesn't it? "Given the choices..."

Thanks for indulging me and keeping us updated on this. I think Americans need desperately to know more about global politics.

2:28 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

It’s good to get a perspective from someone who knows. When I saw the film “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” I certainly sympathized with Chavez, but I must say that some of his actions since (especially cozying up to Iran) have made me nervous. I don’t like nationalist platforms and paranoia—-which is not to say that I like blowhards like Pat “We should take him out” Robertson. However, I did not know much about the candidates running in Peru.

Fujimori is certainly a subject for a rock opera. Is he in Japan, or did he attempt to go home? I can’t remember.

7:28 PM  
Blogger Doctor Marco said...


Fujimori is now in Chile under investigation. He was initially arrested, but now he is at home. I agree that he is a weird character.

Nationalism can go hand in hand wth racism and other intolerant ideas. Humala' platfform had a lot of Indian racism against other races.

9:18 AM  

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