UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


Peruvian Nationalist Party (PNP)

The Peruvian Nationalist Party (PNP) is the only national party with a significant network in Peru's impoverished rural communities (with the possible exception of the fujimoristas), and many analysts say that its quiet work in strengthening and expanding existing structures has continued over the past three years. That said, the PNP is also seen as the personal electoral vehicle of former presidential candidate Ollanta Humala, it is reportedly tightly controlled by Humala's wife and advisor Nadine Herrera, and it has sought to tighten links with radical groups, which caused serious internal tensions and a number of defections.

By late 2005 Ollanta Humala might actually have been leading the presidential race. The Apoyo poll, while national in scope, was taken in urban areas. The anecdotal evidence indicated that support for Humala was much greater in rural areas, particularly in his stronghold of the southern highlands (39 percent in the poll) and southern coast (31 percent). Over December 2005 Humala's support has doubled nationally and tripled in Lima (from five to 15 percent). This gain appeared to be due in large part to a shift in the preferences of Fujimori supporters who, with their favorite candidate incommunicado and apparently out of the running in his Chilean prison cell, fastened on Humala as the leading anti-system candidate.

His campaign reportedly was receiving significant funding from Peru's commercial elite, with anti-Free Trade Agreement businessmen (domestic manufacturers, pharmaceuticals, non-export agriculture) seeing him as their champion, and FTA-proponents viewing a contribution as an insurance policy to protect their interests should Humala win. The political class' criticism of Humala may actually bolster his support, as Humala's popular appeal is greatest among those who reject established politicians and favor candidates who want to clean house.

After initially flirting with the far-left, Humala seemed to have recognized that the traditional Marxists wanted to use him as a vehicle to advance their own electoral ambitions; that a formal association with them would limit his appeal; and that his own growing popularity obviated his need for the far-left's organizational apparatus. As a result, Humala conditioned any alliance on the Marxists assuming a subservient posture, ceding to him control over the presidential and congressional tickets, a role they rejected, characterizing him as "authoritarian."

It remained unclear what vehicle Humala will use to run for the highest office. His Peruvian Nationalist Party (PNP) filed to register with the National Electoral Board (JNE), but the latter raised several objections, none of which should be difficult for the PNP to surmount. The principle objection is that, while the JNE has found that the PNP has presented the required 128,293 signatures to register a new party, it determined that the PNP has only formed 44 of the 65 provincial committees (of at least 50 members each) required under the Political Party law. Other objections relate to the party's symbol, which is similar to another party's previously registered symbol, to some party officials being listed as members of other parties, and to conflicting provisions in the party's statute.

It remained an open question whether Humala would be able to sustain the momentum that would have him gain a spot in the presidential run-off. The reports that the business elite was pouring money into his coffers would facilitate Humala's efforts to keep his campaign energized.

When offered the chance to explain his policies at a CADE business association meeting, Humala declined, ostensibly because he was scheduled to speak with the political "minnows" rather than receive a prime time spot like Flores, Garcia and Paniagua. As the campaign proceeds, he would come under increasing scrutiny by the media and voters, which could detract from his appeal.

This process would be promoted by a USD one million USAID-funded election transparency program, run by the National Democratic Institute and the local NGO Transparencia, that starting in January 2006 promoted debates between candidates and publicize their views on key specific issues. There was also the possibility that the Fujimoristas can regroup from their current malaise and mount a strong campaign, with Fujimori or an alternate, thereby regaining some of their supporters who have migrated to Humala.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list

Page last modified: 07-03-2016 20:24:55 ZULU