Political differences won’t let Peru move on

Pedro Pablo Kuczynski had big plans for the country’s development. However, political differences have stunted his plans.

Pedro Pablo Kuczynski

2017 hasn’t been an easy year for Peruvians, including their president, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski. It’s almost a year since Kuczynski took office and the road to making its administration as efficient as possible has been more difficult than expected. Members of the “Fuerza Popular” party –formed by those who oppose Kuczynski and support Keiko Fujimori– have made things tougher for his cabinet. The president knows this and has even said it in the media: “Here we have a group that resents me being the president”, the told The Economist.

Kuczynski’s first year has had to deal with one of the worst winters in Peru’s recent history. As many analysts have said about the disaster, the consequences were directly related with the inefficiency of previous governments and the lack of safety measures. After the disasters in last March and April, the president was left with the responsibility of giving confidence back to the people and to foreign investors, and to propose an infrastructure plan for the next few years. However, it hasn’t been easy to carry on with either one of those.

Since he doesn’t have majority in the Congress, the president had had to face the constant lack of support. The situation has escalated as far as the loss of four members of his cabinet. And that had led to poor results in the execution of reforms and policies. The current state of his administration –with the sense of no control and uncertainty– jeopardizes the normal functioning of the country. This is the worst scenario for foreign investors.

To add insult to injury changes and improvements in infrastructure are going nowhere. The Odebrecht case –as it happened in many Latin American countries– has put on hold many of the constructions that tried to get Peru back on its feet. Certainly, the country didn’t expect to be in this position when Kuczynski’s administration began.

As the performance of his administration depends greatly on the economic recovery and short-term development that he can have, Kuczynski needs to act and needs to do it fast, because any reform that he intends to implement needs political support from his opponents.

A recent analysis from The Economics suggests that Kuczynski should pardon Alberto Fujimori –Keiko’s father–, in order to improve his image in the face of “Fuerza Popular”, and gain their support. The downside of this could be that it would re-open controversies and, even more, crimes that were committed during Fujimori’s presidency. The future of Peru seems cloudy but not as bad as Kuczynski’s.

LatinAmerican Post | Juan Sebastián Torres
Copy edited by Ricardo Avella