Magazine article New Internationalist

The Merry-Go-Rounders

Magazine article New Internationalist

The Merry-Go-Rounders

Article excerpt

PERU

On 10 April, some 30 million Peruvians will head to polling stations across the Andean nation - where voting is obligatory - and cast their first-round ballots for president.

The current incumbent, Ollanta Humala, is barred from standing for re-election by a law designed to combat power consolidation. But this principle is endangered by former presidents' determination to pursue non-consecutive terms. This is the case for two of the race's front-runners: Keiko Fujimori and Alan García.

García, who was polling at near 10 per cent in pre-election surveys in January, has served as president twice before: from 1985-90 in the middle of a deep financial and social crisis, and then again from 2006-11, during a period of unprecedented growth and stability - though he leftoffice under the cloud of corruption allegations.

Fujimori has not been president before, but her father Alberto has. He followed on from García in 1990 and led the country through a series of wrenching IMF-sponsored financial reforms as well as an all-out war in the country's interior against Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path), a millenarian Communist guerrilla group.

Alberto Fujimori's regime was marked by a penchant for autocracy. …

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