Peru’s Presidential Contenders Lock Horns

The contenders in Peru’s June 4 Presidential run-off election battled it out in a nationally televised debate, May 22.Most media outlets gave Ollanta Humala a slight edge in debate performance. Alan Garcia leads Humala in polls weighing voters plans. Some outlets remarked on former President Alan Garcia’s charisma and others on under-dog Ollanta Humala’s ability to cogently explain why Peruvians deserve a bigger share of their natural resource wealth… that gets carted off by multinational energy companies.

The campaign turned ugly in recent days. Both campaigns slipped stories into the press stating that their opponent was "secretly" supported by Peruvian ex-frontman and human rights abused Alberto Fujimori, currently exiled in Chile. Fujimori was subsequently banned by Chilean President Michelle Bachelet from further comments on the election.

Yesterday, Humala’s camp released a statement that election fraud was being exacted against his camp. The National Election Board demanded proof.

Meanwhile, Humala’s leftist credentials were called into question by his brother, Ulises, in an interview published last Saturday. Ulises Humala hails from Peru’s grassroots left and was a Presidential candidate in the first round of voting. In the interview, Ulises said his brother’s party (Alianza por Peru) is, "an electoral alliance, where the moneyed leadership has put up a lot of cash, and disgracefully, the election process is an investment. It is pretty paradoxical; to have a Party that is practically going to win, but is completely fabricated, where the party’s base has no connection to the leadership."

Garcia seems to be running a smooth campaign and seems willing to ride with the "Washington Consensus" if elected.