Friday, April 21, 2006

Peru Election: Foggy Friday permanent link   7 comments
Latest results as of 9.05pm, Friday, 96.04% of counted votes:

Ollanta Humala: 30.82%
Alan Garcia: 24.34%
Lourdes Flores: 23.56%

Alan Garcia leads Lourdes Flores by 92,227 votes, or 0,78%.

Lima is covered by a dense fog this Friday morning but contrary to the weather forecast , the fog that hung over the presidential election results is slowly lifting and the picture of who will advance to the second round is getting clearer.
I Am The Sum Of All Fears

Interview with Ollanta Humala, by German Newspaper "Die Welt", April 19th, 2006:

Q: Mr. Humala, how do you feel when you are mentioned in one breath with Evo Moráles and Hugo Chávez?
A: I am just a simple candidate and feel honored to be compared with such leaders who are highly regarded in their countries. We should not forget that Latin America is in a process of decay that its peoples slowly begin to detain, for example by finding solutions for the collapse of the neoliberal model. A new leadership has emerged from this situation and I feel as being a part of this latinamerican family.
Q: You identify with Chávez and his bolivarian revolution. What connects you with Venezuela's president?
A: If you listen to the current peruvian administration then I am financed by Chávez. Others say the drug cartells are paying me. I am the sum of all fears. I will not make Peru a Chávez subsidiary. We are a nationalistic movement, depending on no one. My paradigm is peruvian ex-president Gen. Velasco Alvarado because I am also military, nationalist, and my politics are aimed against the traditional regime that betrays the people.
Q: Is there really a "new left" in Latin America?
A: One can say there is a new left or an indigenous streaming or, as in Peru, a nationalism. The name is discussible. The important thing is, it is a movement against neoliberalism that searches for alternatives to solve the problems of the majority and to solve structural problems like foreign indebtedness, poverty, the level of education, the issues of energie and coca cultivation.
Q: Do you see the coca cultivation as a integral part of your culture, like Evo Moráles does?
A: Coca cultivation is really an important part of the Andean-american culture and fundamental for our identity. Thats why a forced, violent eradication cannot be the solution because it destroys the basis of income of 200.000 farming families. Instead we should seek profitable alternatives, formulas and mechanisms for a healthy exploitation of the coca plant.
Q: Your politics wants to combine social justice and nationalism. How does your nationalism look like?
A: Nationalism is the defense of the nation and an answer to the de-nationalization process, which is a result of the globalization that followed the victory of imperialism after the cold war. In this process some countries are globalizing other countries, just like we Peruvians are being globalized. Furthermore nationalism is a reassurance of democracy and its institutions, the fortification of the citizen.
Q: Globalization has no advantages?
A: Of course. For instance in communication potentials, health, education. But at the same time it is softening our sovereignty and destroys the cultural identity of peoples. In Peru it enriches those who control the economy and to impose their power by politicians to protect their interests.
Q: Do you want to nationlize foreign companies?
A: No. We respect private property and investment, we want for them to come and pay their taxes. We are in favor of international investment. However, in regard to strategic activities the state cannot renounce its ownership role. In the case of coal and gas the state has to able to co-manage. With 49, 50 or 51 percent. We will not give Repsol or Telefonica the chop, but we want the state to be a co-shareholder.

(conversation lead by Gonzalo Caceres for Deutsche Welle TV)

read the interview (written in German) here
news in brief:

- The 'virtual' congressman of Lourdes Flores' alliance 'Unidad National', Walter Menchola, clarified that his party 'Solidaridad Nacional' has not split from the electoral alliance with 'Partido Popular Cristiano' and 'Renovación Nacional'. In talking to the press, he indicated that the future of this coalition will be analyzed after the results of the presidential elections are known.
(my take: sounds like a reprieve to me...)

- The ex-candidate of "National Restoration", Humberto Lay Sun, insisted that several anomalies and irregularities in the vote count to the Congress were discovered, which would exclude his party of a representation in the coming legislative. "We have found 50 errors in 50 'actos', this seems suspicious", he said in press conference.
Lay stopped short from describing the irregularities as fraud but he reiterated that the number of faults in the vote count are suspect. In addition he said that they are working on a revision of the count and that they hope that this will be concluded as rapidly as possible. "We are implementing personal computers to accelerate the process".
(my take: The evangelist minster Ley was one of the big surprises in this election, no one expected he would get that many votes. I truly hope his obections are well founded, otherwise it sounds kinda funny how people react when their party falls a couple of votes short. Well, I guess we've seen it before...)

- On Monday, April 24, the 'week of vaccination in the Américas' begins. Parents will be able to take their children to diverse supermarkets like Wong and Metro to be immunized against diseases like the polio, tetanus and hepatitis B, among others.
(my take: no word yet on how/where this this is handled in rural areas outside Lima. Inquiring minds want to know...)

(photo by National Geographic)-The 'Ubinas' volcano, located in the region of Moquegua 900 kilometers south of Lima, continues to send clouds of poisonous ash and acidic smoke up to 800 meters high into the air and raining ash covers towns in an 8 kilometer radius.
Locals have been wearing face masks to keep from breathing ashes and fumes, and some have even bestowed the protection on their livestock, as seen in the above image of a calf taken on Wednesday.
The first evacuations are under way.

today's featured links:

a very interesting discovery by Max Cameron:
Peru’s New Cleavage: North versus South



At 4/21/2006 11:28:00 AM, Anonymous rici wrote...

OK, got those results. ONPE's webpage lags its press releases by a couple of hours; that's annoying. And there is something really wrong with writing the software while the count is coming in :)

Anyway, those results are still quite biased. They represent (based on electors, not mesas):

Extranjero: 71.36%
Lima: 93.11%
Resto del país: 96.97%

Or to put it another way, 6.89% of Lima votes are still uncounted, and only 3.03% of non-Lima votes (plus 28.64% of foreign votes). So the uncounted votes are biased towards Lourdes.

I point this out because it means that Alan's advantage will drop suddenly as the revisions come in (presumably) and someone is sure to cry foul. ONPE seems to be the chosen target of pretty well everyone (although Apra has been remarkably moderate; I haven't seen any apristas yelling fraud in the media).

I really feel sorry for ONPE, actually. They might not have done the best job possible but it's a really hard task and they seem to be carrying it out pretty well. There are a lot of tight races -- not just the presidential second place, but also the Lima congressional seats and the question of whether RN and PP will hit the threshold or not. I think RN will come within a couple of thousand votes of the threshold, one way or another. And no-one wants to accept a close defeat, so ONPE becomes the easiest target. "We wuz robbed."

At 4/21/2006 11:34:00 AM, Anonymous rici wrote...


I realise that Apra did complain vociferously about the conduct of the foreign vote; my point was that they didn't blame ONPE, as far as I know. They were complaining about UN propaganda. On the other hand, UPP, UN and even Lay Sun have gone to the press with allegations about ONPE.

At 4/21/2006 12:47:00 PM, Blogger Inka-Wolfy wrote...

thanks for the hard work rici.
It just shows that "it ain't over 'til its over' or 'until the fat lady sings'.

edit to add:
No relation intended between Lourdes and the "fat lady". :-))
Besides, Alan sings much better than her...

Cheers, and fasten your seat belts.

At 4/21/2006 08:55:00 PM, Anonymous Rick Martinez wrote...


Are you implying that Lourdes is going to pull an upset?

Rick Martinez, a Cuban-American in Puno.

At 4/21/2006 11:40:00 PM, Anonymous rici wrote...

I don't think Lourdes will pull an upset, but the final results will be closer than the current ones. I've been tracking this all week using an extrapolation based on the three-part division, and projecting the difference weighted appropriately. The projected victory (Apra over UN) has been varying between 43,000 and 50,000 (it's at 45,800 based on the latest figures from ONPE's website, which has been having problems this evening.)

So basically, I'm expecting the gap to drop by about half, which will seem much more dramatic than it really is. I just wanted to forestall accusations that the figures are being manipulated.

That's not to say that Lourdes can't pull an upset. From here on in, basically, the figures are going to depend on revisions of contested actas. Both Apra and UN will have representatives watching those revisions closely (as will UPP and the other parties). Obviously, UN is going to try its best to disqualify actas which give Apra a good majority and vice versa.

As of today, 643 actas have been annulled. (That means that roughly 10,000 votes are being ignored; there are about 200 voters per voting table, but not all of them vote and some of them submitted blank ballots anyway.) I think that's about 15% of the contested actas. There are 3,722 actas left to revise, and 55 which have not yet been counted (apparently that includes a few from Australia which haven't arrived in Lima yet.)

There were originally almost 8,000 actas to revise, so it would seem that less than 15% are being annulled. That's good; if that ratio keeps up, the end result will be around 1000 annulled actas, less than 20,000 potential votes, which will mean that the nullifications could not have affected the end result (assuming my projected plurality is reasonably close to the mark.)

Since the revision started in earnest, my projected margin has been increasing slightly, which might imply that Apra has been slightly more successful than UN at nullifying actas. In a way, the task is easier for Apra because the places where UN is ahead, it is ahead by a lot, so Apra doesn't need to challenge as many actas to achieve a result. But it could also simply reflect the fact that the actas in need of revision are not quite a random sample, which is also probably the case: I did a spot check and it seemed that there was a lower-than-average percentage of problematic actas in upper class Lima neighbourhoods.

I don't want to level any charges at any one -- the vote counts are so close that they are within statistical noise of each other.

Basically, I'm trying to be on the side of ONPE here (as Wolfy jokes). From what I can see (from the outside), ONPE has done a pretty good job of running a fair election.

It's important for democracy that people trust their electoral authorities; obviously that also means that the electoral authorities need to be trustworthy, but perception does not always line up with reality. On the whole, I'd say that Peruvians have much less confidence in electoral processes than they should, while US residents, for example, have rather more than they should. (That is, Peruvians don't trust a trustworthy system, while US residents seem to be willing to ignore a certain amount of blatant manipulation.)

No electoral process is perfect; in the end, manipulation is always possible. There are just too many little pieces of paper and too many people involved. (And I don't believe that electronic voting is the answer, either, although carefully managed it can at least generate faster results.) The question is, how much manipulation is possible. That is, can you shift the results by 0.05% or by 5%? The former figure will only rarely affect an election result; the latter one will often be enough. I'm not in a position to say what the value is in Perú, but I'm reasonably certain it is on the low end, and I'm sure that it is lower than it was when I first moved to Perú.

In other words, although this election will end up being very close, I believe that it will be an honest result.

At 4/21/2006 11:56:00 PM, Anonymous rici wrote...

Damn, it's late and I can't edit my previous comment. I shouldn't do unaided arithmetic late at night.

The 643 annulled actas represent 100,000 votes, not 10,000, so they could *theoretically* have changed the result (but that would require them to be pretty well all 100% Lourdes, which is impossible). But we will not be able to say with mathematical certainty that the annulled actas could not have changed the result. Oh, well. I'm still going to stand by it, whatever it works out to.

Perú's electoral system is unusual in that there are no vote recounts. The acta -- which is the tally of votes at a single voting booth -- is either definitive or discarded. (At least, that's my understanding.) However, there are a number of checks and balances to ensure that the actas are correct. (Just because you have recounts doesn't mean that the electoral system is any less subject to manipulation; consider George W.'s "victory" in 2000, which ended up being something like "one lawyer, one vote".)

At 4/27/2006 11:17:00 AM, Blogger Daniel's wrote...

I am concerned with what happens in Peru, I'm Bolivian, and the result of the eleccions will also affect the relationship with our country. I wanna know what excatly are Alan's ideas for presidency. As I know he already failed once, didn't he?


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