Urresti out too

13 March 2016

The Partido Nacionalista Peruano (PNP) announced on 11 March that it was withdrawing its presidential candidate, Daniel Urresti, alongside its candidates for the vice-presidency, for Congress and for the Andean Parliament. Urresti’s campaign had failed to take off, and it seems that the calculation was taken to maintain the PNP registration as a political party. Under rule changes introduced at the beginning of the year, a party can miss an election without losing its registration.

Urresti, the former interior minister, is a controversial figure accused of murdering a journalist (for the weekly Caretas magazine) when he was a serving army officer in Ayacucho in 1988. The decision to withdraw his candidacy seems to have been taken a few days earlier by President Ollanta Humala and the first lady, Nadine Heredia (party president), amongst one or two other party leaders. The decision was criticised by Daniel Abugattás, a longstanding party leader in the Congress, on the basis that it was taken without any consultation with the party’s rank and file. It leads Susana Villarán, the former Lima mayor and vice-president on Urresti’s ticket, out in the cold.

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