The Peruvian General Elections in 2006

After the turmoil of 2000 and the elections of 2001, the 2006 election in Peru was a generally peaceful affair without the necessity of international observers such as former president Carter of the United States, to attest to its validity. Ultimately won by Toledo, turmoil had decreased in the years precluding the 2006 elections although economically many problems remained for the candidates in 2006 to address.

The main candidates in 2006 were:

1) Lourdes Flores Nano, former congressional representative and conservative candidate represented Peru's National Unity (UN) party.

2) Ollanta Humala, a retired soldier and staunch populist was the leftist candidate of the Union for Peru Party.
3) Alan García, president of Peru from 1985 to 1990, who represented the center-left American Popular Revolutionary Peruvian (Aprista) Party.

Minor candidates included Alberto Fujimori, despite the fact that he faced criminal charges in Peru and a ban from office until 2010 was in Chile, and Valentín Paniagua of the Center Front party who served briefly as interim president after Fujimori's resignation.

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Lourdes Flores Nano, considered the election's pro-business candidate, had an early lead in polls. However, as the election approached Humala overtook Flores Nano in the polls. Humala, by fashioning himself as a nationalist, tried to avoid his perception as a leftist. Yet, Humala welcomed the endorsement of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez sparking fears in Peru and world markets that Peru would be the next Latin American country to move far to the left. Following Chavez's announcement of his support for Humala, Peru briefly withdrew its ambassador from Venezuela accusing García of interference in Peru's internal affairs. García was running a close third behind Humala, although he had yet to take a clear stance on issues and suffered from the perception that he left the country in economic shambles and plagued by rampant guerilla violence when he left office.

The most pressing issue in the election was the question of foreign investment. Humala favored limiting investment in the mining, oil, and natural gas industries. In contrast, Flores Nano pledged herself to maintaining a "free market" and respecting existing contracts. García, as mentioned, made few notable policy statements and seemed to be assuming a role as a middle of the road alternative. An important second issue was the allocation of public funds; that is, how Peru's future government would allocate its growing revenues? In the opinion of many, despite a surge in demand for Peru's gold, minerals, and foodstuffs; the Peruvian federal government had yet to implement effective policies for distribution of these new funds to the populace and living conditions for most Peruvians remained unimproved.

The first round of the election was not decisive causing a second round run-off between Humala and García as an apparent choice between the left and center left. The result was a second round victory (52.6% to 47.4%) for Alan García. In congress: the Peruvian Aprista Party obtained 36 seats, the Peruvian Nationalist Party claimed 23 seats, the Union for Peru ended with 19 seats, National Unity had 15 seats, and the Fujimorista Alliance for the Future won 13 seats.