Flores says she will not seek Peru’s president in 2011

The head of Peru’s conservative Popular Christian Party (PPC), Lourdes Flores, has said she will not run in the country’s presidential elections next year following her unsuccessful campaign to become the mayor of capital Lima, daily La Republica reported.

PPC stalwart, Felipe Osterling, confirmed that Flores “has absolutely rejected the 2011 election,” adding: “She is not going to take part in the election in any way and we are all in agreement. She has had a very intense campaign.”

The PPC’s national consulting council will evaluate its options to take part in the upcoming elections during its national congress on November 27-28, he said.

One of these options may be a partnership with Mercedes Araoz, Peru’s former finance minister who will be the presidential candidate for President Alan Garcia’s ruling Aprista party.

Despite Flores’ announcement, other members of PPC have said the party’s base may be able to convince her to run in 2011.

“I am convinced that the members will make an effort to convince her to continue and participate in the next elections,” the vice president of the party, Juan Carlos Eguren, told state news agency Andina. “Obviously, she has the last decision.”

Flores – a former congresswoman and two-time presidential candidate – has spent much of this year in a campaign for Lima’s mayor.

Despite leading the opinion polls for most of the campaign, Flores was overtaken by leftist candidate Susana Villaran in September, about a month before residents went to the polls in a tight race. More than 3 weeks after the election, Flores conceded to Villaran.

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