Date: Sat, 14 Jan 1995 21:37:41 -0600
Sender: "NATIVE-L Aboriginal Peoples: news & information" <>
Subject: Native Candidates in Peru
Original Sender: (Edward H Hammond III)

Native Candidates in Peru

By Edward H. Hammond III <>
14 January, 1995


I got some good news on from Peru yesterday that may interest you:

Two Amazonian Indians have been named candidates to the Peruvian Congress on Javier Perez de Cuellar's list. (Perez de Cuellar is of course the former UN Secretary General who is now running against Alberto Fujimori in his bid for re-election.) They are Evaristo Nugkuag, an Aguaruna and Miqueas Mishari, an Ashaninka.

The Peruvians have an election system that is a bit strange (to Americans at least). Presidential candidates name a list of people for Congress - in Perez's case the list is 120 names long. Then, based on the number of votes the Perez list gets, people get named to Congress, starting at 1 and moving downward until the candidate's votes have run out. Both Mishari and Nugkuag are in the 90s on the list, so they will only win this way if there is a Perez landslide.

BUT... At the polls people also vote for individual candidates, and if an individual candidate gets enough personal votes, he/she effectively jumps place on the list and gets a seat in the new Congress. SO... Candidates with a high number on the list but who have strong constituencies can still get elected.

This is, as far as I know, the first time that indigenous leaders in Peru have been invited to the list of a major candidate (or at least the first time they've agreed to participate).

The polls are on April 9, and although Perez is currently behind, Nugkuag is looking to raise funds and do some campaigning to turn the indigenous vote out. We'll see what happens.


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