- After Peru’s economic growth dropped in 2015, PPK and his team have emphasized improving the economy and returning it to a target growth rate of at least 5 percent through creating policies that formalize the economy and promote sustainable growth, investment.
- PPK wants to implement several tax reform policies that aim to lower taxes, simplify the laws, and improve collection rates, including gradually reducing the IGV from 18 percent to 15 percent by 2019 and providing tax incentive to small and medium businesses.
- PPK will likely have to water down his economic policy proposals, especially tax reforms, to garner approval from an opposition controlled Congress.
PPK seeks to reignite the Peruvian economy’s growth by increasing the value of mining exports by 25 percent, through simplifying bureaucratic processes to open mining projects and reviving stalled mining projects.
There are several challenges PPK will have to overcome to achieve his mining sector goals, including garnering congressional support, low commodity prices, social conflicts in areas where mines are concentrated, and illegal mining, which has a production value of US$1.3 billion.
The new government seeks to diversify Peru’s energy sector, with a focus on developing natural gas and expanding energy infrastructure, such as widening of the Transportadora de Gas del Perú (TGP) pipeline network and finish the Gasoducto Sur Peruano (GSP).
After a large initial field has been culled, voters are unhappy with their choices. This is Peru, where voters will cast a second-round ballot for President on 5 June 2016.
Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of imprisoned former President Alberto Fujimori, is running against technocrat Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (PPK). So far, Keiko is running about 5 points ahead in the last May 2016 poll by Ipsos, despite ongoing investigations into money laundering and ties to drug trafficking organizations. On 19 May, Joaquín Ramírez, the Secretary General of Fujimori’s party, Fuerza Popular, stepped down amid revelations that he is being investigated for laundering money on behalf of Keiko.
After leaked tapes and now a potential arrest order, Brazil Senate leader Renan Calheiros might be forced out of his job before the impeachment vote on President Rousseff can occur. Calheiros was instrumental in directing the Senate’s impeachment proceedings in an apparently impartial way, without the theatrics of the Lower House. As such, Calheiros has pushed back against speeding up Senate proceedings and limited Senators arguments on impeachment to pertinent matters. It is questionable whether this is good for Dilma Rousseff.
Outside of a very small group of governments including El Salvador, nearly the entire hemisphere has decided to ignore Brazil’s change of government, some eagerly and others reluctantly, the administration of Michel Temer in Brazil. While certain media, including Venezuelan-backed Telesur, have tried to portray the Temer administration as a U.S. plot, in reality, most of the hemisphere is de-facto accepting the interim president.
Mexico’s Congress failed to act on proposed anti-corruption legislation and Mexico’s President Peña Nieto has largely ignored the issue. Delays in anti-corruption initiatives pushed civil society to collect over a half million signatures in favor of the Ley 3x3, which would have legally obligated Mexican politicians to publicly disclose assets, possible conflicts of interest, and tax payments. The fact Mexico’s Congress isn’t acting on anti-corruption legislation, with the PRI refusing to even attend debates on the issue, shows the basic challenges confronting these sorts of laws.
Brazil’s Senate is likely, but not certain, to accept the impeachment vote by the Lower House, leading to a 180 day suspension from office for President Dilma Rousseff. However, Brazil’s Senate President Renan Calheiros is among the Senators hoping to manage this process in a more civilized and organized manner.
Keiko Fujimori’s campaign was prepared and eager to take on Veronica Mendoza in a second round battle. Mendoza’s candidacy would have allowed Fujimori to use the same playbook that helped Garcia to defeat Humala in 2006, with a network of activists both in Peru and abroad already starting to link her to Venezuela’s PSUV and Hugo Chavez. Whether true or not, Mendoza’s candidacy in the second round would have shifted the narrative of the election.
Keiko Fujimori, the daughter and honorary first lady of former President Alberto Fujimori (who overthrew Congress in the 1992 self-coup, approved documented human rights abuses in the conflict against the Shining Path for which he is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence, allowed the head of his intelligence service to entangle several sectors of Peruvian civil society in a massive corruption scheme, and operated a forced sterilization program in the provinces (1)) is the comfortable frontrunner in the current Peruvian presidential electoral cycle, although her eventual victory is by no means a given.
There is a growing realization within the Venezuelan MUD that they are stuck. The government is losing ground in terms of public opinion and general ability to run the country, but Maduro’s opponents still do not have a clear path forward. The decision last week for an “all of the above” strategy to push for Maduro’s ouster came with the unspoken acknowledgement that all of the routes that the opposition controls have little chance of succeeding independently due to the government’s control of other institutions including the military and the courts. Ultimately, the goal of these routes is to convince the Chavistas that their best option is to push Maduro out. Meanwhile, the opposition is simply trying to use its ongoing National Assembly efforts to position itself as a legitimate alternative to voters.