Humala lacks support to implement reforms if elected, says political scientist

Leftist presidential candidate Ollanta Humala would be unable to implement many of his reforms if he wins this year’s election, according to political scientist and the former director of the Institute for Peruvian Studies, Julio Cotler.

Humala’s reforms, which have raised investors’ eyebrows at home and abroad, would not have the support in Congress to be carried through, Cotler said. Reforms include making changes to the Constitution and increasing the state’s role in Peru’s booming economy.

For most of the campaign, Humala has been sitting in fourth place in opinion polls, but a drop in support for other candidates and a re-invented image -from red T-shirts and military fatigues in the 2006 campaign to white T-shirts and a suit and tie this time around – have helped the former military officer and leader of Peru’s Nationalist Party surge to the top spot this week.

With less than two weeks before Peruvians go to the polls, Humala has a little more than 20 percent support and a slight lead over four opponents: former president Alejandro Toledo, Congresswoman Keiko Fujimori, ex-prime minister Pedro Pablo Kuczynski and former Lima mayor Luis Castañeda.

Humala ran for president in 2006 and narrowly lost to current President Alan Garcia in a run-off vote. During that campaign, he aligned himself closely with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Bolivia’s Evo Morales.

In addition to more moderate rhetoric, Humala’s change this campaign has also included distancing himself from Chavez.

Nevertheless, opponents have been quick to point out that the two are still allies, especially since Humala has taken the lead in polls.

[Chavez] is trying to disguise his support and he doesn’t have the courage to say that [Humala] is his candidate,” said Toledo.

Meanwhile, Fujimori, who is the daughter of jailed ex-President Alberto Fujimori, said Wednesday that “Humala is a foot soldier for Chavez.”

While Humala may have similar aspirations as Chavez and Morales, the Peruvian leftist lacks the popular support of his counterparts to implement any major reforms, said Cotler.

“Both Chavez and Morales came to power riding a social movement that gave them the necessary legitimacy to do the transformations that they wanted,” he said. “If Humala makes it in, he will make it with 25% [support].”

The general election is scheduled for April 10.

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  1. It’s amazing to me that a change of clothes-fatigues and red shirt to a suit-has as bought him into the lead in the polls. People are easily fooled or just to lazy to recognized what a danger this guy is to Peru. Of course the US is not immune to this laziness/stupidity. Look who they elected. Obama is a leftist of the worst kind and everyone new it but elected him anyway, Go figure.

    • People vote for candidates based on many different factors. All candidates are imperfect but some at least propose real solutions to problems, and that often upsets the oligarchy. John makes typically silly and misinformed statements about Peruvians and about NorthAmericans, and maybe that just shows his ignorance, but his way of thinking is the real danger, not the program of Humala or Obama. By the way, John, calling Obama a “leftist” shows that you have no idea what that word means. Gracias

  2. I’m a peruvian and I’m scared to death of what’ll happen if Humala wins. If he does as far as I’m concerned – 2012 will have come early!
    Because many working with foreign companies like scotiabank and such will lose jobs and many will lose a chance at a better education! Plus, all the progress in the past year would have been for nothing! 🙁

    So everyone pray and wish Peru for the best, that either PPK or Keiko come out on top please!

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