Monday, April 24, 2006

Peru Election: The agony of defeat permanent link   1 comments
Latest results as of 5.00pm, Monday, 98.461% of counted votes:

Ollanta Humala: 30.702%
Alan Garcia: 24.334%
Lourdes Flores: 23.675%

Losing is tough, we all know that. Losing two in a row is even tougher.
Lourdes Flores hasn't picked up the phone yet to to concede defeat, but members of her alliance have.
Congressman Rafael Rey is the first member of 'Unidad Nacional' to publicly recognize the defeat of his alliance in the electoral battle for a run-off. The virtual member of the Andean Parliament also suggested vote for Alan Garcia because he is "the most viable option".
"I personally recognize the defeat and hopefully I am wrong and the final result will say the opposite, but no longer should we give the impression of not knowing how to lose", he said.

Meanwhile, political analysts are debating on the best strategy to defeat Humala. Mario Vargas Llosa, renowned book author known for his staunch market liberal views and APRA opponent, wrote an essay yesterday in EL Comercio suggesting the only possible way would be an alliance of APRA (Garcia) and Unidad Nacional (Flores).
"If the political forces that represent Garcia and Flores not unite, either one of them will be defeated by the military man who claims that Venezuelan commander Hugo Chávez and the ex-dictator of Peru, General Juan Velasco Alvarado are his mentors and role models.
The victory of Ollanta Humala would be a catastrophe for Peru and Latin America, a brutal regression in a continent that seemed on its way to democratization and away from the worst plagues of our past: 'caudillismo', militarism, populism and authoritarianism."
He indicated that, at this point, personal affections or political antipathies should not be the priority, but the defense of the democracy in Peru.
"Ollanta must be stopped in the second electoral round by means of a great agreement of all democratic forces."
Most other analysts however disagree. They warn that an alliance of such kind would only play into Humala's hands and reinforce his successful "everybody hates me", anti-establishment strategy.

I agree with the latter.
rici provided a nice chart based on the ONPE snapshot of this morning (Monday), and
shows the projected votes for each candidate from each region: Lima, rest of peru, rest of the world. It predicts that Lourdes will close the gap by a bit more than 30,000 votes, leaving her some 50,000 votes behind.

(click to enlarge)

today's related articles:

- Garcia looks set to face Humala in Peru runoff (by Reuters)
- Divided Peru set for tough election (by Hal Weitzman, Financial Times)
- Humala to face Garcia in Peru run-off (by Forbes)



At 4/25/2006 09:03:00 AM, Blogger Blake O'Brien wrote...

I've only been following this remotely but I'm still dumbfounded how Alan Garcia STILL gets so much support. I mean his record is... well, lets leave it to Wikipedia:

"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."

Do Peruvians suffer from the same memory loss as Americans? Have no lessons been learned from the past? I can't say I like what I've read of Humala, but then I also could not support a strong Christian fundamentalist like Lourdes.

Alas, a wise friend suggested to me that Christian fundamentalism is the least of Peru's concerns at the moment and I have to agree it would probably be a safer bet than a military dictator-to-be.

Do I have it all wrong?


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