LIMA, Peru – The possibility that Peruvian President Alan García might seek re-election for a second consecutive term, currently forbidden by Peru's constitution, has met with disapproval from broad sectors of the political spectrum and seems doomed to fail.
President of the Constitutional Committee of Peru's single-chamber Congress José Vargas, from the governing Aprista party, raised the possibility of García's re-election. According to AFP, Vargas considered that it “would be fair” for the president to continue because “he has done things well”, and cited, as examples, the cases of Colombia's President Álvaro Uribe, Ecuador's Rafael Correa and Hugo Chávez in Venezuela.
A number of experts and opposition politicians, however, say it is unlikely President Garcia would decide to attempt to have the constitution amended in order to pave the way for his candidacy. Sociologist Carlos Reyna told La República that, Alan García is an experienced politician and he knows that his popularity has fallen in opinion polls”.
The Peruvian opposition has protested against the suggestion by the government's allies that the constitution be changed before the 2011 elections. “The rules are clear. The constitution can not be reinterpreted. The rules of the game can not be changed like this,” declared MP Raúl Castro Stagnaro to DPA. Stagnaro also announced that his party, the conservative National Unity Party, would strongly oppose any change to the country's constitution if the proposal is formally presented.
Re-election is the wrong way to go because it encourages the temptation to remain in power, and this leads to what is happening in neighbouring countries,” said the leader of the governing Aprista Party Wilder Bendezú, distancing himself from fellow party members.
García, 59, whose centre-right government has a support rating of 29.2 percent, has shown no signs of wanting to be elected again 2011, although on several occasions he has declared that he would be prepared to stand again in 2016. García was president of Peru between 1985 and 1990.
The candidates for the April 2011 polls have begun to emerge and include nationalist leader Ollanta Humala; Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of ex-premier Alberto Fujimori; and former President Alejandro Toledo, who governed between 2001 and 2006.