Peru Business Group Concerned About ‘Excessive’ Political Fighting

Garcia-Miro, Alfonso-Peru’s largest business federation, Confiep, said it is concerned about “excessive” fighting between the country’s political parties, state news agency Andina reported.

Confiep President Alfonso Garcia-Miró said that constant political fighting could create uncertainty for the private sector. He said that recent political fighting has crossed “the line of what is appropriate and prudent.”

“The political community should rise to the level of the nation that we are and the democratic country that we are,” Garcia-Miró said.

“The political leaders should know how to choose their opponents and between them have their discussion,” he said. “This would guarantee a sensible country, a peaceful country, which has a very important, active political community that doesn’t create uncertainty, which isn’t good for the country or the political community.”

Garcia Miro didn’t refer to any political group in particular, although in recent weeks there has been increased tension on the request to pardon former President Alberto Fujimori, on speculations governing presidential candidates for 2016, and most recently between President Ollanta Humala’s ruling Gana Peru party and former President Alan Garcia and his Apra party.

Garcia, who is Humala’s predecessor, has accused the President and his advisors of trying to sabotage his own potential candidacy for president in 2016 through investigations by a Congressional committee. The committee, known as the Megacomision and headed by Sergio Tejada, a member of Humala’s ruling party, has been investigating corruption allegations during Garcia’s last administration, between 2006 and 2011.

The commission has come up with a series of compromising issues, mostly involving excessive budgets, including in renovating signature schools, upgrading the national stadium, buying military materiel etc. Bu these could be attributable to cabinet ministers and other officials and not necessarily involve Garcia himself. 

Garcia, Alan - 2013The most recent investigation leaked to the press, however,  is on the Presidential pardons granted during Garcia’s administration, and Garcia and other high-ranking Apra members are accusing Tejada of trying to discredit the former President with this leak. 

During Garcia’s administration 5,500 pardons were granted, 400 to prisoners sentenced for drug trafficking. Later in the week, it was disclosed that one of the officers on the Presidential pardons commission, a lifetime Apra member, Manuel Huaman, had served time himself for drug trafficking.

There are no legal implications that could jeopardize Garcia but his concern, having already said he is interested in being elected President again, is that he and his party will find it difficult to climb from their current four or five percent approval rating to 51 percent by 2016. 

Apra claims that the orders to discredit Garcia have come from the presidential palace. They believe this administration wants First Lady Nadine Heredia to run for president in 2016, despite a law that would prohibit it and statements by President Humala and Heredia denying that such a plan. If Heredia did run for office, Garcia could be one of her main opponents.

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