Towards some unity on the left?

3 February 2019

Passing the mid-way point in the current legislature, attention will be increasingly focused on likely runners in the next presidential and congressional elections in 2021. Perhaps it was in recognition of this that left-wingers met last weekend in the city of Huancayo to discuss options.

The meeting counted with the presence of Veronika Mendoza from Nuevo Perú, the left’s candidate in the 2016 presidential elections. She ended up in a creditable third place, not far behind the final (narrow) winner Pedro Pablo Kuczynski. However, the meeting was not joined by representatives from the Frente Amplio, with which Mendoza’s Nuevo Perú grouping split soon after the last elections.

Nuevo Peru has hitherto faced the problem that, since the split with the Frente Amplio, it lacks the registration as a party that it needs to fight national elections. It has been seeking to collect the huge number of signatures required for registration.

The Huancayo meeting’s host was Vladimir Cerrón from the grouping Perú Libre and regional governor of Junín. As well as Mendoza, Gregorio Santos (formerly regional governor of Cajamarca) from the Movimiento de Afirmación Social (MAS) was present, as well as Zenón Cueva from the Frente de Integración Regional Moquegua Emprendedora (Firme), the new governor of Moquegua.

As such, the gathering had a strong regional flavour. Together they signed the Huancayo Agreement (Acuerdo de Huancayo). The agreement involved the creation of an alliance with a view to fighting the 2021 elections.

As well as the above, Gerónimo López, the general secretary of the CGTP, was in attendance, as was the member of Congress Manuel Dammert.

As well as leaders of the Frente Amplio, other absentees included Walter Aduviri, the newly-elected president of Puno region. Nor did representatives from Juntos por el Perú turn up, another fraction including the likes of Salamón Lerner. Yehude Simon, leader of the Partido Humanista (which also has official registration) was not present either.

The left thus appears fragmented and disunited as it heads towards the next election. Mendoza remains a potential presidential candidate with her support made evident in the 2016 elections, especially in the south of the country. But she will have to vie with the ambitions of numerous rivals and lacks the crucial registration that will enable Nuevo Perú to field candidates.

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