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Peru - the government of Alejandro Toledo
Biography of the Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo
Results of the legislative elections 2001

The Peruvian cabinet 2001

Roberto Dañino: Presidencia del Consejo de Ministros
Pedro Pablo Kuczynski: Ministerio de Economía y Finanzas
Carlos Bruce: Ministerio de la Presidencia
David Waisman: Ministerio de Defensa
Fernando Ropigliosi: Ministerio del Interior
Fernando Olivera: Ministerio de Justicia
Diego García Sayán: Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores
Luis Chang Reyes: Transportes y Comunicaciones  
Raúl Diez Canseco: Ministerio de Industria
Fernando Villarán: Ministerio de Trabajo y Promoción Social
Nicolás Lynch: Ministerio de Educación
Luis Solari: Ministerio de Salud
Jaime Quijandría: Ministerio de Energía y Minas
Alvaro Quijandría: Ministerio de Agricultura
Javier Reátegui Roselló: Ministerio de Pesquería
Luz Doris Sánchez: Ministerio de Promoción de la Mujer y del Desarrollo Humano

Article added on July 30, 2001
Final result of the legislative elections of April 8, 2001:



% of valid votes


Peru Posible (PP) 2,477,624 26.3% 41
Partido Aprista Peruano (APRA) 1,857,416 19.7% 29
Unidad Nacional 1,304,037 13.8% 15
Frente Independiente Moralizador (FIM) 1,034,672 11.0% 12
Union por el Peru (UPP) 390,236 4.1% 6
Somos Perú -Causa Democráctica (SP) 544,193 5.8% 4
Cambio 90/Nueva Mayoria 452,696 4.8% 4
Acción Popular (AP) 393,433 4.2% 3
Others 967,342 10.3% 6

Biography of Alejandro Toledo
Last year, Alejandro Toledo was denied the Presidency by Alberto Fujimori and his regime through electoral fraud. After protests by large parts of the population and the discovery of the "Vladivideos", Fujimori fled to Japan and Toledo managed to win the Peruvian voters' confidence in new elections. However, he needed two rounds to win over the left-wing populist Alan Garcia of the Partido Aprista Peruano (APRA). His margin of victory was astonishingly slim (52.5% vs 47.5%) if one considers that Garcia was the president who almost totally ruined Peru between 1985 and 1990.
The 55-year old Alejandro Toledo is a man of Indian descent. In 1946, he was born into a very modest family of peasants in Cabana, in the area of Ancash in the province of Pallasca. He grew up in Chimbote where his parents moved in the hope of a better future by the northern Peruvian coast.
Alejandro studied at G.U.E. San Pedro where he won several of the school's literary competitions. He became the correspondent for La Prensa in Chimbote and interviewed leading politicians such as the general Odría, Haya de la Torre and Belaúnde.
His achievements at school earned Alejandro a scholarship which allowed him to study economics at the University of San Francisco in California. After successfully completing his studies there, he moved to the University of Stanford where he took a PhD in economics and human resources.
Afterwards, Toledo worked for the United Nations, the World Band, the ILO in Paris and the OCDE in Paris. Toledo is a regular professor at ESAN. From 1991 to 1994, he was an economic researcher in the field of international development at Harvard. Recently, Toledo was guest professor at the University of Waseda and the Japan Foundation in Tokyo.
Among Toledo's publications are works on economic growth and on structural reforms. His latest book, Las Cartas sobre la Mesa , describes his political career which led him to found the party Perú Posible. As its president, he won the Presidential race against Alan Garcia.
Toledo is married to the Belgian anthropologist Eliane Karp, who unlike him speaks the native Indian language Quechua. During the electoral campaign, Karp agitated against the white bourgeoisie - one has to admit that they did not always cover themselves with glory and that is why political outsiders such as Fujimori and Toledo were able to attain the presidency. What does not fit into the new presidential couple's populist style is their tendency to avail themselves with luxury products. They carefully adapt their public appearances to their public.
Toledo could not convince everybody that he is innocent of allegations that he fathered an illegitimate child (Zarai Orosco) - he refused to submit to a paternity test. He was also accused of incorrect accounting regarding electoral campaign donations, of taking cocaine and visiting prostitutes.
For many Peruvians, the election of Toledo was the lesser evil. In contrast to the defeated Alan Garcia, they do not expect an adventurous economic policy from him. However, Toledo led a populist electoral campaign. It will soon become clear whether this was necessary in order to gain the support of the Peruvian masses or whether it is a dangerous trait of character of the new president. One must admit that a "serious" but pale bourgeois candidate would probably have lost the election to the smart left-wing candidate Alan Garcia (APRA), which would most probably have been another disaster for Peru.
Doubts about Toledo remain. During his electoral campaign, he stylized himself as the successor of Pachacútec. The poor Peruvian Indians, who are among Toledo's most fervent followers, baptized him "Pachacuti" which means "cataclysm" or "destroyer". It was the name chosen by the Inca ruler Yupanqui who once expanded and unified the Inca empire. After Toledo had been sworn in as the new president in Lima on July 28, he moved on to Machu Picchu where he held another ceremony at the world famous ruins. Is this already the beginning of Toledo's megalomania?

Peru after the 2001-elections
Like Fujimori once did, Toledo also appeared at the forefront of politics almost out of nowhere. However, Toledo's party Perú Posible only won about a fourth of the electoral vote and about a third of the parliamentary seats. Therefore, he needs the help from other parties in order to carry out substantial, constructive reforms. Like his opponent Alan Garcia, Toledo also made pompous promises during the electoral campaign which he is quite unlikely to fulfill. The majority of Peruvian voters - living in poverty - will soon experience the fact that Toledo is no magician. For the last three years, Peru has taken an economic downturn.
Toledo has never held public office before and therefore has no executive experience. His political qualification comes down to three candidacies for president, the first one in 1995 when he only achieved meagre 3% in his first race against Fujimori.
The results of the legislative elections of April 8 made Toledo gain broad support for his government. Therefore, less than 20% of the ministers he appointed come from his own party Perú Posible. Astonishingly, the man who styled himself as the new Inca did not nominate one single Indian in his government.
As Minister of Justice, Toledo chose the founder, president and presidential candidate of the Frente Independiente Moralizador (FIM), Fernando Olivera, who has the fourth largest parliamentary fraction behind him. Olivera deserves a lot of credit for having presented the first "Vladivideo" from the archives of the Peruvian secret service. The vast collection of compromising videos assembled by the former leading man of the secret service, Vladimiro Montesinos, was decisive in bringing down the regime of Fujimori and forcing him into exile in Japan.
Diego García Sayán was already part of the efficient interim government led by Paniagua. He switched from the Ministry of Justice to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Sayán is a politically independent lawyer who, for years, has led the Andes' Jurist Commission. Recently, he has been elected into the Inter-American Human Rights Commission of the OAS.
It comes as no surprise that Toledo chose Pedro Pablo Kuczynski as his Minister for Economy and Finance. Kuczynski has Polish-Swiss parents. In the last years, he had been working in the United States as a banker and financial expert. He is considered a political heavyweight with international contacts whose mission is to build up confidence abroad for Peru and therefore creating a climate for new credits as well as attracting fresh foreign direct investments.
Like Kuczynski, the new chief of the cabinet, Roberto Dañino, is a neo-liberal and both were part of the government of Belaunde (1980-1985).Since then, for over a decade, Dañino had been working as a lawyer in Washington where he was responsible for important investments in the Andes region. He was also one of the co-fouders of the Inter-American Investment Corporation, the market oriented branch of the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB).
As Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism and Integration, Toledo chose, Raúl Diez Canseco, who is also his second Vice-President. The young entrepreneur is part of Belaunde's Acción Popular, which only managed to win 4.2% of voters and three parliamentary seats. Diez Canseco is a business partner of former Minister of Economy, Carlos Boloña.
With David Waisman as Minister of Defence, Toledo for the first time in Peru's history put a civilian at the top of the army. Waisman was President of the Parliamentary Commission of Investigation which examined the corrupt actions of Vladimiro Montesinos as well as the doubtful arms deals by Alberto Fujimori.
As Minister of Interior, Toledo appointed the journalist Fernando Rospigliosi, who was one of the most outspoken critics of Fujimori's regime. Like Toledo, Rospigliosi has no executive experience.
During the electoral campaign, Toledo promised, above all, more jobs to the Peruvian voters. At least, he intended to create them mostly through the private sector. However, he not only promised the moon to peasants, but almost anything to all economic sectors. On his governmental agenda, Toledo has further privatizations in 2002, more support for education and schools, a reduction of the large army of state employees, a plan of decentralization, to improve respect for human rights, an army without corruption, an independent and efficient system of justice and police without corruption, a constitutional reform with the abolition of its authoritarian traits introduced under Fujimori, the fight against drug dealers and much more. Very soon it will become clear which promises Toledo will be able to fulfill.

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© Copyright  Louis Gerber  All rights reserved.