Municipal elections in Peru

 UPDATE: 10.25pm Susana Villaran, the left-wing candidate has won by just 1% according to the  first ‘quick count’.  This is the first result coming out after 100% of the votes have been counted.  We are still waiting for the verified results from ONPE the Voting Oversite Agency. It’s very close and so the situation could change.  However it looks like Susana has just squeeked in as Mayor of Lima.  Her party hasn’t done so well in the district contests which may help to provide a counterweight to her in the future.

Millions go to vote today in the Municipal elections in Peru. These will help provide political factions with the power bases they need to win the Presidential elections next year.
In Lima, the economic heart of Peru, there is a clear choice between a flawed right of center candidate and a socialist with dubious marxist connections.  All the usual marxist and national socialist suspects, as well as Chavez,  are circling around seeing this as their stepping stone to forcing Peru sharp left next year.   Let’s hope enough Peruvians reject the siren call of the populist and vote to keep Peru on it’s upwards path out of poverty.  There is a great article on the canditates over at Big Peace, if anyone is interested.

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  1. #1 by Tom Sperrin on October 5, 2010 - 4:11 pm

    The reality of office may well ensure that Susana Villaran adopts more centrist policies, that is if her election is confirmed. Do you think her election would be an indicator for the country as a whole. After all, Peru has come through the current financial cris very well?

    • #2 by Letters Home on October 5, 2010 - 5:51 pm

      The gap between the two is now down to 0.8% at 73% of the votes checked by the voting commision, so there is still a chance that Lourdes Flores, the center-right candidate will win. The current mayor of Lima, Luis Casteñeda is making a run for the Presidency next year and Susana Villaran, the leftist candidate has promised that she will audit everything he has done, obviously with the intention of finding enough dirt to scupper his campaign. Peru has indeed done well through the crises, benefitting from high prices for its minerals, an increasing demand from China and an inflow of foreign investment as well as money leaking over from the fiscal and monetary stimulus in the US. That and the stable macro economic policies and free market reforms started by Fujimori in the 90’s and more or less continued since, has given Peru a very impresive and stable rate of growth. Unfortunately, the price of minerals can go down as well as up, and hot money can flow out just as quickly as it flows in. To really create a strong diversified economy, Peru needs a skilled, educated work force. Unfortunatly it has one of the worst public education systems in Latin America, hamstrung as it is by the contol the marxist led teachers union, SUTEP, has on education. If Susana Villaran really wanted to help the poor, she would take on her allies in SUTEP, and push for radical change in public education. She would also push for more free-market reforms and in a generation we could see Peru becoming the South Korea or Hong Kong of Latin America. One can but dream.

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