Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Peruvian elections

Ollanta Humal, a left populist ex-military officer seems to be leading in polls for the upcoming Peruvian presidential election on April 9. There is good coverage of the poll here. Humal apparently looks back to the populist military regime that seized power in 1968 and left office in 1980, well described in The Peruvian Experiment Reconsidered. This book is not encouraging unfortunately, there was a significant land reform program but overall the distribution of income did not change and on some indicators caloric intake and health statistics the poor were worse off in 1980 than 1968. Crucial here were poor economic outcomes.
In light of debates about the viability of democracy in Iraq this is an interesting comment on Peruvian attitudes:
According to a United Nations Development Program survey released last week, only 18 percent of the more than 11,000 urban and rural Peruvians interviewed said they lived in a democracy. Thirteen percent said they would never live in one, and nearly the same amount considered an authoritarian government preferable. Two out of three blamed politicians for ruining democracy and more than three out of five said they did not care about democracy or knew how to define it.
More on the survey here.


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