Peru’s illegitimately elected President Alberto Fujimori announced yesterday that he will call new elections for the Andean nation, and this time he won’t be standing as a candidate. Fujimori’s announcement came as footage of his right hand man and top intelligence minister, Vladimir Montesinos, bribing an opposition congressman hit television screens around the world.
Opposition candidate Alejandro Toledo, cut short an overseas trip and headed straight back to Peru when he got word of Fujimori’s shock decision. In July, Fujimori began a third term as Peru’s president despite a highly questionable election in which Toledo pulled out, charging that Fujimori planned to rig the election results.
Fujimori’s announcement yesterday was welcomed by regional leaders, from Guatemala to Mexico to Panama who praised the decision of Fujimori to step aside and call for new elections. They say it signals a new democratic breath for the people of Peru.
- Pancho Soberon, Executive Director of The Pro Human Rights Association of Peru.
- Coletta Youngers, with the Washington Office on Latin America.