Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Peru Election: The calm before the storm permanent link   3 comments
Latest results as of 5.00pm, Tuesday, 99.17% of counted votes:

Ollanta Humala: 30.69%
Alan Garcia: 24.32%
Lourdes Flores: 23.70%


Even though it is now clear that Garcia will face Humala in the second round on May 28th, none of them has thrown a punch yet and the light sabres have remained in the closet.
'El Comandante' and 'Mr. Second Chance' are going through their respective warm-up routines while waiting for the 100-percent result which, according to ONPE, will be accomplished by tomorrow.
So again we are experiencing the calm before the storm. Protective measures for a threatening volcano eruption create the headlines and the actual sabre-rattling happens elsewhere. In yet another showcase of a lingering latin american divide, the ever ambitious Hugo and his little brother Evo are spinning their knife grinders.

Peru signed a Free-Trade agreement with the USA a couple of weeks ago. Although widely considered (including myself) as a sneaky move by president Toledo and his legislation and criticized for bad timing 3 months before his abdication, it was a legally proper act. Peru had every right to sign this treaty, just like other countries have done the exact same. The deal still awaits ratification by Congress (in both countries) and follows the rules of the economic pact of the Andean Community of Nations (CAN).
Of course this prompted a rather childish reaction by Chavez, culminating in Venezuela's withdrawl from the Andean Community of Nations. His Bolivian puppy then went ahead calling peruvian president Toledo a traitor.
The peruvian response didn't take long. Alan Garcia, among other officials, already gave their 2 centimos during the last couple of days, and last night Alejandro Toledo strongly rejected any accusations by saying that he will not accept any kind of blackmail by foreign chief executives as a response on Peru's decisions and that the leaders of Venezuela and Bolivia should not look for excuses to resign from the 'CAN'.
"I understand that there are countries that do not need to open new markets because they have a strong income in petroleum, but countries of Latin America that are importers of petroleum have the obligation to generate work for their country. We are all responsible for our own destiny and shouldn't impose the decisions of each country by means of extortion." he said.
Toledo added that he will respect the decisions of Venezuela and Bolivia to leave the CAN but they should speak clearly and not making any excuses. "If they decide to move away from the Community then they should say it with clarity, without giving aloof excuses and evading their responsibility. Evo Morales is trying to handle a country in difficult situations. I respect that he's the head of state but will not respond to his statement. If Evo decides to follow Chávez, it is his option. I will continue working for the integration of Peru and Latin America".

today's related articles:

Evo Morales' letter to Hugo Chávez (source: La Republica. In Spanish)

Presidential rivals do battle over Peru's history (source: Financial Times, Hal Weitzman)
At a recent rally in the northern coastal city, Mr García's speech was replete with references to Haya de la Torre (Apra's founder) and Apra's history. Rejecting the stark choice between completely open markets and nationalising industry, as threatened by his challenger in the elections, he told an ecstatic crowd: "Just as Victor Raul said: 'Neither Washington nor Moscow - only Apra will save Peru'."

Alan Garcia Leads in Peru Presidential Runoff Poll, Datum Says (by Bloomberg)
Peru's former President Alan Garcia would beat Nationalist Party candidate Ollanta Humala in a run-off vote for the presidency, according to the first poll to be published since the April 9 election.
Garcia had 54 percent of voter support, while Humala had 46 percent, according to a survey by Lima-based polling firm Datum Internacional.
Preliminary Comments to this poll by Max Cameron ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


At 4/25/2006 10:37:00 PM, Blogger Inka-Wolfy wrote...

can anyone tell me the exact reason why APRA has the French National Anthem (La Marseillaise) as their official party song?
To me, it always looks kinda weird to hear that tune and at the same time I see Garcia on TV and not Napoleon, De Gaulle, or the French football team.

IIRC, Garcia dropped this sectarian symbol in 1985 and replaced it with the popular song, "Mi Perú". So, when was the Marseillaise reinstalled?

At 4/26/2006 04:57:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...

Is this not because Garcia lived in France and spent most of Peruvian's money educating his kids in posh private schools while the People of Peru starved.

Everyone seems to have forgotten how he ran off to France with Peru's money in his back pocket.
That is - sorry - the only reason I can think og the French National Anthem.

At 4/26/2006 08:29:00 PM, Blogger Inka-Wolfy wrote...

the Apristas sang the peruvian version of the Marseillaise way before Garcia went into "exile" in France in 1992.
So I guess that can't be it.

Perhaps that was his main personal reason for chosing the Frenchies in the first place.


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