When Peruvians went to the polls on April 10 to choose a new president, they faced an uncommon variety of choices. The fractured vote left no one with the required majority, producing another extraordinary field for the second-round voting on June 5. The top two vote-getters bring minimal experience and maximum polemic. In the not-very-kind words of Mario Vargas Llosa, Peru's Nobel Prize- winning author, it's like "choosing between AIDS and cancer."
Peruvians hope their Nobel laureate was using hyperbole in his choice of metaphors, but though they might disagree over the reasons why, most are indeed deeply concerned about who their next president will be. The two candidates facing off in the second round are Ollanta Humala and Keiko Fujimori, two sharply different and enormously controversial personalities. But while both raise misgivings among observers and voters, the real source of the concerns lies less in the candidates themselves than in the names that will appear alongside theirs, in invisible ink, on the ballot. Behind each candidate looms another larger-than-life persona, and while the ballot may list Ollanta Humala and Keiko Fujimori as the two choices, the campaign is really about those ghost candidates. ...
To read the rest, sign up to try World Politics Review
- TWO WEEKS FREE.
- Cancel any time.
- After two weeks, just $11.99 monthly or $94.99/year.
Request a free trial for your office or school. Everyone at a given site can get access through our institutional subscriptions.
- World Citizen: Brazil Plane Crash Spawns Two-Woman Presidential Race
- How Latin America Can Maximize Its Shale Gas Potential
- Chile’s Bachelet Tacks Center to Pursue Needed Reform at Home
- Diplomatic Fallout: Lacking Primetime Partners, U.S. Remains ‘Indispensable’ Crisis Manager
- Mexico’s Scaled-Backed Gendarmerie Force No Security Panacea