Who will advance to the second round of the Peruvian elections? O Wise Swami, who knows all and sees all, gaze into thy crystal ball.
And lo! Here are the standings so far, according to El Beebo:
Ex-army officer Ollanta Humala seems certain to face former President Alan Garcia in Peru’s presidential run-off, partial first-round results suggest.
With just one percent of the vote left to count, Mr Humala leads with 30.7%, followed by Mr Garcia on 24.3%.
Conservative candidate Lourdes Flores is trailing by a fraction on 23.7%.
The election campaign was dominated by the rise of Mr Humala, a leftwing nationalist, but polls do not suggest he would be certain to win a runoff.
The narrow gap between the three main contenders has delayed final results from the 9 April election from being released – an excruciating wait for the candidates.
With no candidate passing 50% support, the two leading candidates will proceed to a second round, scheduled for 28 May.
So it looks like it will come down to a contest between centre-left and just-plain-left here. That’s not necessarily good news, and here’s why:
Mr Garcia presided over Peru from 1985 to 1990, during a period of hyperinflation and a bloody insurgency by Shining Path guerrillas.
But he has promised to create jobs and to divert more of the country’s mineral wealth to the poor by taxing mining firms’ profits.
Despite Mr Humala’s first-round lead, analysts predict most of Ms Flores’ supporters would be likely to turn to Mr Garcia in a run-off.
A Datum poll published on Tuesday suggested Mr Garcia would win a run-off against Mr Humala, with 54% against 46%.
And that, for me, is what’s not good about this. The fact that the right-wing candidate’s voters are likely to swing behind the more centrist of the two, means he can campaign from the left but will rule from the right when he wins. Where have we seen that before?
Oh yeah…Ecuador. Where Lucio Gutierrez promised to make like Hugo Chavez, got his ass elected on that, then went back on his word, kowtowed to the IMF, and got run out of town on a rail for it. El Predicto informs me to watch for similar patterns in Garcia if he is elected.
Either way, El Predicto’s crystal ball is full of dark and scary clouds.