Who Will Be the Next President of Peru?

by | Nov 9, 2015

The United States isn’t the only country having a presidential election next year. In April 2016, Peruvians will vote for a new president — and probably again on June 12, 2016, the date of the runoff election. The current president, Ollanta Humala, was elected in 2011 and is term limited. His approval rating is a dismal 17%, and an incumbent party’s candidate has never won the presidency in this emerging market. So who is running and what are their proposals?

Keiko Fujimori is the leading candidate in the national polls and the daughter of the former president of Peru. She is the leader of the conservative party Fuerza Popular. She ran for president in 2011 and lost. She hasn’t announced a substantial agenda yet, and her party hasn’t either.

Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (also known as PPK) places second in most national polls. He is also a conservative-right politician. He was the Prime Minister of Peru in 2005, and is a well-known Peruvian economist. He ran for president in 2011 and came in third. He has proposed tax cuts for small- and medium-sized businesses and believes his policies will engender one million new jobs.

Alan Garcia is a former president of Peru that served two terms: 1985 to 1990; and 2006 to 2011. He is head of the center-left Peruvian Aprista Party (APRA). He has promised to return Peru to a GDP of 6%, as the country’s growth has slid to below 5%, and the market was almost downgraded from an emerging market to frontier market. He would also like to reduce poverty to below 10% and deploy the military to combat street crime.

Alejandro Toledo was the president of Peru from 2001 to 2006. He is a member of the left-leaning Possible Peru party, which he founded in 1994. He has advocated free Internet for everyone and would like to increase the wages of teachers.

All four leading candidates are promising to improve Peru’s economic fortunes. With depressed commodity prices, Peru’s export-driven economy has indeed slowed. The election of a market-friendly president may provide a much-needed spark to this country in need.

[This article was also published in TheStreet]

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned. Kabir Sehgal is the author of New York Times bestseller Coined: The Rich Life of Money And How Its History Has Shaped Us. He is also a Grammy winning producer. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.