Posted by: Ali | February 7, 2010

Elections in Peru

The national elections are coming up in 2011.  It seems to me like the political candidates here start campaigning REALLY early, as they were already campaigning in full swing when I got here last August.  I wouldn’t normally mention this on my blog except for that the candidates are very interesting this time around!

For starters, please keep in mind that Peru has a really interesting history of Presidents.  Some of the recent ones include:

  • Alan Garcia (1985-1990), a President who was accused of having various mental disorders, having an addiction to lithium, and having connections to Columbial drug cartels.  At the end of his presidency, inflation was over 7000% and was running a government deficit of $900 million US.  Was charged with multiple counts of corruption, although the verdict was never made public.
  • Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000), a President who suspended congress, declared military rule, committed at least two massacres against his people, and is currently serving more than 25 years in jail on about four counts of crimes against humanity, having been tried and found guilty by Peruvian courts.  Also tried to get himself elected for a third term, which according to a 1993 constitution was illegal; his argument was that since the constitution was made in 1993 the first election in 1990 didn’t count.
  • Alejandro Toledo (2001-2006), a President who was apparently propped up by foreign interests to get rid of Fujimori; his election was marked by “voting irregularities” as 54% of the population indicated that they would not vote for him in any circumstance.
  • Alan Garcia (2006-present) – yup, they elected him again, deciding that he couldn’t possibly do worse the second time around.

In the upcoming elections the top candidate is Luis Castaneda, the current mayor of Lima.  But he’s not running unopposed!  Some of his more colourful opponents are:

  • Keiko Fujimori, yup, Alberto Fujimori’s daughter
  • Ollanta Humala, a member of the military who led an uprising against the Fujimori government in 2000
  • Jaime Bayly, a self-declared bisexual Peruvian talk show host.  He is at 6th place in the polls, however he has a devoted following!


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