Alan Garcia is the former president of Peru whose term in office (1985-1990) was a disaster of substantial proportions, probably even by Peruvian standards. Yet his opponent in today’s presidential election — Ollanta Humala — looked to steer Peru down the Bolivarian/Castroite path that Hugo Chavez is taking Venezuela. By contrast, Humala made Garcia palatable.
Today’s good news: Peruvians appear to have held their noses and returned Garcia to office. In the linked Bloomberg story, Mercedes Liria expresses the realistic consideration that would account for today’s result:
“I never dreamed I would have to vote for Garcia,” Mercedes Liria, a 40-year-old housewife, said in an interview after voting in Lima. “But I had no option — with Humala as president, we’ll be governed by Chavez.”
Humala nevertheless established himself as a force to be reckoned with in his first run for office as a national figure. Watch out for Humala next time around, when we can only hope that the Chavez phenomenon has run its course. I’ve been following the election today on the excellent Peru election 2006 site maintained by the University of British Columbia. Glenn Reynolds also links to this excellent round-up at Publius Pundit.
PAUL adds: The Washington Post offers this interview with Garcia. The man appears to have grown out of office.