Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Peru Election: First Punches permanent link   0 comments
Latest results as of 9.30pm, Wednesday, 99.45% of counted votes:

Ollanta Humala: 30.67%
Alan Garcia: 24.33%
Lourdes Flores: 23.73%

The wait for 100% continues. ONPE announced today that it will take until the weekend. The current difference between Garcia and Flores is 73,731 votes or 0.60%.

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The first punches were thrown yesterday in the campaign for president of Peru.
Ollanta Humala threw what many (especially APRA supporters) considered a low-blow. While campaigning in Trujillo, Peru's third largest city located in the north, he went to visit the grave of Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre, the founder, father and grey eminence of Alan Garcia's APRA party.
No matter how hard he tried to say that his intentions were only a simple gesture of paying his respects to the Aprista leader, the followers of the star, Apra's party symbol, took it as a provocation leading to an inevitable interchange of insults and pushes with Humalistas. 'El Comandante' himself was greeted by a rough crowd with flying objects, mostly lemons.
Jorge del Castillo, Secretary General of APRA, accused Humala of being the provoker. "His intention was to generate this kind of reaction. I am not surprised at all that he infiltrates people who throw things at him, only to later blame us.", he said while adding that the UPP candidate conveniently forgot to pronounce when their supporters attacked Lourdes Flores in Huancavelica before April 9.
It is understandable that an election so polarized generates a tense climate that easily unleashes violence, yet inexcusable. On the other hand, Humala had to know this was coming and should have taken necessary precautions.

Alan Garcia today asked the militants of his party not to fall for the provocations of his contendor, Ollanta Humala, who is campaigning in towns in northern Peru since last Saturday, an area historically known as bastions of the Aprismo.
"I ask them not to pay attention to these provocations because that only contributes to what I have called the 'whitening' or cleaning of the candidate. Before the first electoral round he had a radical, threatening and violent message, and he is now showing his other, softer side to which it is not necessary to respond with acts of violence", he said. "Humala already showed his face of terrorism during the first round and now he is wearing his pacifistic mask for the run-off. We all know it was him who caused the violence when he placed his flowers at the tomb of the founder of APRA, though he never even read a book of this author", Garcia added.

The candidate of APRA also maintained that "surely" Humala is hoping to be attacked and then appear in front of the public as a victim, using that condition for the benefit of his electoral campaign.
"They (the Humalistas) have all hoped that there would be a bloody confrontation, they love when he presents himself as a victim of rock throwers. His own conduct of walking towards the people who reject and booed him had only the intention to generate an act of personal violence", he emphasized.

Doing !!!!!!!!!! Off to round number two.
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APRA wants presidential TV debate
Mercedes Cabanillas, congresswoman of Apra, insisted on a debate between the presidential candidates and not between official spokesmen or other representatives, as proposed by Humala's UPP. She said that the latter already have debated their proposals during the whole electoral campaign.
During an interview granted to Radio RPP, Cabanillas suggested that there should be several debates of the presidential candidates "because the people are going to define their vote between those two and not some party or other campaign officials".
She added that the second electoral round requires a comparison of governmental proposals and plans of government offered by each candidate for this country.
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