Thursday, April 13, 2006

Peru Election: Focus on expatriate voters permanent link   7 comments
Thursday is the first holiday of a long Easter weekend in catholic Peru and many Limeans have left the city to spend a few days on the beach or visit family elsewhere. The elections are going to take a back seat for a few days, a much needed breather and a welcomed break to recharge the batteries.

Nevertheless, tensions rose and the slim margin between Alan Garcia and Lourdes Flores began to grate on the nerves of the contenders Thursday. The battle for a runoff place in Peru's presidential election focusses on about 200,000 votes cast abroad. With slightly more than 88 percent of the votes counted, Flores hopes that the ballots by Peruvians living abroad, which are expected to favour her, will be enough to cut Garcia's lead of some 120,000 votes. So far, only 12 percent of the expatriate votes have been counted.
But members of Garcia's APRA party have called on election authorities to annul ballots (around 110,000 votes) from Milan, Italy; Madrid, Spain; La Plata, Argentina; Miami and New York -- all cities with large numbers of Peruvian emigrants.
Jorge del Castillo, a leader in the Aprista party, showed a video in which Flores supporters could be seen handing out campaign propaganda outside a voting station in Miami, a clear violation of Peruvian electoral regulations.
"Serious irregularities have been committed in those cities, all of which constitute various causes under the law for annulling the voting at these tables," he said.
Flores said it was "an old strategy to annul ballots" and rejected the allegations.
"It strikes me as a bit of nervousness, trying to nullify voting tables where they have clearly lost with arguments that have no legal basis," she said, adding: "We're going to demand that every last vote be counted. I'm very confident that in the end things will turn out in our favor."
Flores also urged election authorities to include around 1.5 million marred ballots, which are either illegible or not filled in correctly, in the count.
Members of her party have questioned whether the ballots were held back on purely technical grounds.

"War Declared" ran several Peruvian newspaper headlines on Thursday, underscoring the increasingly tense battle between Flores and Garcia.
"The thing is so tight that euphoria and depression are going hand in hand with both of them," said Fernando Tuesta, a former election official who now runs a polling firm.
In the 2001 elections, Garcia came from behind in the final days of the campaign to edge Flores by a similar thin margin and qualified for the runoff, eventually losing to current President Alejandro Toledo.

Election authorities told Reuters it would take about 10 days to review and count the marred ballots and a final result would probably not be announced until the end of the month.

Perhaps Flores and Garcia would be good advised to follow the crowd and simmer down at the beach for a while and let the authorities do their job.



At 4/14/2006 09:36:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...

Poor Alan is going nuts here in Peru, because he knows that most of the Peruvians now living overseas left Peru because of him. Hopefully Lourdes Flores can win this "battle" and utlimately the "war".

At 4/14/2006 11:15:00 AM, Blogger LAV wrote...

¿Hopefully? No estoy seguro que es claro cuál es la mejor resulta a esperar aquí.

At 4/14/2006 04:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...

i really hope that alan doesn't win tis election and it looks really had for lourdes to goto the second round. Bt lets be honest between Alan and Humala, I prefer Alan.

At 4/14/2006 07:32:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...

I prefer Alan to win Lourdes because Lourdes will never make it against humala.
Alan can borrow Lourdes votes though.

At 4/15/2006 09:32:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...

Lourdes is portrayed as being "for the rich". What are Alan and Humala "for"? The poor? I submit they are for themselves and the poor will see no improvement under Humala or Alan. Of course I hope Alan would be the lesser of two evils, but time will tell. If Lourdes couldn't win over Humala, it would show the Peruvian people would prefer a ill-prepared militaristic communist over an intelligent, honest and prepared democratic leader. Buen suerte Peru.

At 4/15/2006 11:01:00 AM, Blogger Inka-Wolfy wrote...

seems that the 'un lobo' readers are just as polarized as the peruvian voters. Good stuff, good comments.

It would really help though if you anonymous guys would leave a name, so other readers and contributors will have it easier to refer to your comment.
Whether you call yourself Joe, Jack, Jim, Jane or José, you will still remain anonymous.

At 4/16/2006 06:29:00 PM, Anonymous Victor wrote...

Although I have criticized Mr. Humala's lack of political tack in calling leaders in the left caciques for not jumping on his bandwagon, and have also noted his lack of political experience when it comes to assessing and answering to loaded questions, I get a sense that many of the other comments against Humala are not justified.

Let me start with the references to communism, I have not found any material in which Humala refers to himself as a communist. He has acknowledged several figures as inspirational, amongst which some who raise yellow falgs, but Humala has mentioned his affinity to Victor Raul Haya de la Torre, Charles de Gaul. His affinity for Mariatequi, was qualified by HUmala in context of Mariategui's critique of peruvian reality, and his affinity for Velasco, is something some peasants in peru share. There is a word Kawsachiq, in quechua it means to give life or make live, that is how land reform was perceived. On the other hand the actual protagnist of the land reform movement were peasants in cuzco lead by a socialist Hugo Blanco, and Velasco in my assessment coopted the peasant movement for land reform to side step potential political instability.

Racist? As I have said in other sites, there are people of different ethnic groups, and yes "races" among Humalas following, one thing most have in common is that they are underrepresented. But on the other hand Humala himself has met with latin american leaders of different skin tones, from countries whose racial composition varies from meditranean, to mixed afro iberan, and even indegnous populations.

Homophopic? Until I hear words of hate with reagard to the GLBT community, I wil not be quick to impute his parents ignorance on him. Also if people haven't notice peru still lives under a colonial condition where race, racial caterories, and racism interplay with social economic status and attitudes of exclusion and privilege.

Check the past record! A discourse of democracy and authoritarianism was once used to rally the right and right of center parties under MVL. This discourse was directed against APRA, and specifically against the bank nationalizations and the hierarchical and fervent nature of the party. Now it is being used to color the current debate and the second round debate against Humala.

Lastly if anyone noticed, when asked if he would form alliances for the second round, Humala responded in the negative. He, however, acknowledged that if he was to become president that he would have to work with all other parties in congress since those parties regardless of political differences also represent the soveriegn will of the peruvian people.

I think that the authoritarianism v. democracy discourse has been used so uncritically, and has inhibted people from assessing HUmala and what the vote for him represents. In this regard I perceive it to be a vote of marginalized sectors of the electorate that seek access to the benefits of the political economic system.

Here is also something else to think about. Rospligiosi, a peruvian political analyst was cooking up some conspiracy theory of a possible Humala and Fujumori alliance betweent the two parties for the second round. He, Rospligiosi, concluded that this possible alliance was further indicative of Humala's links with fujimotesinismo. However, when Alan Garcia of APRA talked of forming alliances with all and any party in the second round including his rivals from the UN and Keiko's APF, not a word was mentioned about AGP links with fujimotesinismo. Furhtermore, neither a wink to how this call by APRA might also be indicative, yet not conclusive, of their willingless to abandon their rhetoric, when convenient, to return to the presidential palace.

For me the thought of AGP welcoming with open arms his adversariesin Un, and APF, a party whose ties with fujimori are clearer than those conjectured about with regard to Humala, smells to me like traditional under the table politics. But since the debate and protaganist are from here on out pigeone holed in the context of authoritariansm v. democracy this critique might not matter.

my email is

I welcome all the loathing, and hate mail by the anonymous reactionaries!


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