Enter Alan Garcia, stage right

1 September 2018

Alan Garcia, who has kept a physical distance from Peruvian politics in recent times by residing in Madrid, has announced his return to the fray, hinting that he may seek to be APRA’s candidate in the 2021.

At a meeting of his supporters in La Molina on 25 August, he criticised the party’s current leadership for bringing it to its lowest ebb in its history. Currently, it has but five seats in Congress and its legislators tend to disagree most of the time. “Who are they? What have they given APRA? What victories have those who are squabbling achieved? What have they done for APRA and for Peru” García asked rhetorically of his listeners, ignoring any role he might have had in party divisions.

Having launched a bitter attack on President Martín Vizcarra over his proposals for referendums on political and judicial reform, he went on to say that he saw his role as rebuilding his party fortunes. In so doing he did not rule out the possibility of running in 2021. “I don’t know what success we will have” he is quoted as saying “but you do not undertake great causes because you are assured of success”.

Since the moment that APRA returned to active politics in 2001 with García at the helm, the party has shed any previous left-wing pretensions, associating itself closely with the successors of Alberto Fujimori. Since the 2016 elections, it has forged a close working relationship with Fuerza Popular, first against Kuczynski and now against Vizcarra.

Top officials of García’s government are among those accused of receiving bribes for contracts by Odebrecht and other Brazilian construction firms. So far, García has evaded direct and personal incrimination.

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