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Peru - Politics & Economy

Machupicchu: Cusco

POLITICS AND ECONOMY

The republic of Peru has followed a somewhat flexible political path. There are political parties of relatively long history - like APRA, (the Communist Party of Peru), Acción Popular (Public Action) and the Partido Popular Cristiano (Christian Popular Party) but many of them are novel and particular to Peru like Cambio 90 (Change 1990 – the party with which Alberto Fujimori entered his first Presidency) and Peru Possible (the party of Alejandro Toledo, Peru’s current President).

In the 1980’s the President Alan Garcia governed guided by the principles of his mentor, the founder of APRA, Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre. After two years of government, characterized by socialist discourse and an occasionally liberal economy, and at times tinged with socialism (for example, the Castro practice of not paying the external debt) Garcia was obliged to take tough measures through a economic package (which saw an impetuous rise in basic prices) and through a bloody fight against the growing terrorism. When it left the government in 1990, criticism of their management was reflected in that less than 5% of the population voted for APRA in the general elections!

The following president emerged from a group of people, mostly intellectuals and professionals who were tired of the traditional policy and had a new form to make policy: not to be independent politicians, but technicians. Defeating the famous author Mario Vargas Llosa, who represented the FREDEMO, Alberto Fujimori, leading the party "Change 90" was chosen President of Peru by an ample majority. An engineer and university professor, and almost a complete stranger to Peruvian politics, Fujimori governed for 10 years, after which he couldn’t run as president again due to a constitutional prohibition.

Fujimori’s successive governments are the object of the diverse analyses. They offered Peru balanced inflation and also the decisive defeat of the extreme group, the Shining Path. They brought governance and an end to an acute economic and moral crisis.

At the point of entering government for the third time Fujimori’s team were faced by civil and military resistance that brought the country to the brink of collapse. Almost all of the opposition parties and civil organizations (as diverse as those representing Hindus), united and formed a resistance that obliged Fujimori to renounce the presidency and call new elections.

As such, in 2001 Peru went to its most recent congressional and presidential elections. The economist Alejandro Toledo and his party “Peru Posible” obtained an ample majority of the votes and took office.
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