Tuesday, 3 August 2021

Worrying signs in Peru

 It had to be good for the ordinary people of Peru that an ultra-conservative did not succeed in the recent presidential election, in spite of a Trump-like last minute appeal to the electoral authorities on grounds of vote-rigging. However, in spite of soothing noises about seeking consensus in his second-round campaign, one of Pedro Castillo's first acts after inauguration was to appoint a hard-line Marxist butty as prime minister. Moreover, Guido Bellido, the man in question is reported to have in the past expressed sympathy with the Shining Path violent guerilla movement. 

Castillo has appointed a moderate economist as his finance minister, which has pacified international investors somewhat. He should though tread carefully, bearing in mind the precedent of Mohamed Morsi who was elected as president of Egypt as democracy returned to that country in the wake of the Arab Spring. Morsi felt that he had the power to impose the philosophy of another extremist organisation - in his case, the Muslim Brotherhood - and was soon disabused by the Egyptian army who, with the latent support of the US, restored their hegemony in a coup. Castillo would be well advised to make haste slowly in his reforms and aim for a mixed economy rather than a socialist state. 

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