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4.10-4.12lapol - Latin American Politics 5:39:00 PM...

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Latin American Politics 10/04/2007 16:39:00 April 10, 2007 – Institutions and Democratic Governance in the 1990s (Peru/Argentina) PERU During 1980s, onset of economic crisis, plus choices made by President Garcia, undermined Peru In 1990 election, appeared that Llosa would win; Fujimori appears and becomes surprise winner Fujimori appealed to the lower classes (e.g. by driving a tractor to symbolize support for rural poor) Seemed like Llosa would win, but Garcia didn’t like him and secretly threw support behind Fujimori, such as by providing covert intelligence Fujimori came in distant second to Llosa in 1 st round, but it was clear that he would win in the 2 nd round, since Llosa wouldn’t gain more votes due to pro-neoliberal stance Though in power, Fujimori had little support in legislature Fujimori also made it clear from day one that he would keep press in the dark about policies Very vague Formed unity cabinet, but pushed out those who were not loyal to him; further, he did not work to build a broad coalition He delegated power to those close to him; Vladimir Montesinos was put in charge of intelligence agency (SIN) 1992: self-coup some argue this was done out of frustration w/ congress others think this was planned far in advance, and that military and Montesinos had been plotting this with Fujimori o it’s likely that Fujimori never had interests of Peruvian democracy in mind self-coup was very popular when it happened In lead-up to self-coup, several statements were made along the way this included Fujimori’s “joke” that Peru needed an emperor
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only 20% of population backed Congress; in days before the coup, 84% of Peruvians identified as ‘independents’ than with a party in days just after coup, approval ratings of closure of congress were in 70s-80s%, and in the 90% range for closing of judiciary Fujimori’s definition of democracy: respect for public opinion described coup as a “democratic coup” In the end, he was pressured into calling an assembly to write the new constitution; meanwhile, he ruled by decree Decision: boycott assembly and risk empowering Fujimori, or participate and hope to fight Fujimori Lessons of 1993 election for constituent assembly) 1) Fujimori relied on different group of supporters – very weak political parties under his rule 2) weakness of opposition; lack of unifying force against him was crucial to his victory 3) questions of integrity, fairness, equitable media access, role of military, etc. loom over the election (1993 for constituent assembly) From 1992 coup onward, we can describe Peru as no longer a democracy, but rather a hybrid between authoritarian and democratic elements Called competitive authoritarianism After election and constituent assembly, a new constitution went up in public referendum “yes” received only a slight majority, indicating that despite weak opposition the support for Fujimori wasn’t that broad o
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