The blogosphere has occasionally looked askance at New York Times journalist and author Alex Kuczynski. Whether writing about her adventures with plastic surgery or employing a surrogate mother, Kuczynski has pulled at heartstrings while giving readers a glimpse into plutocratic life that some have found distasteful. Here's a new item to separate Kuczynski from the common man or woman: on Saturday, Peru's ruling party, Alianza Popular Revolucionaria Americana (APRA), gave their backing to presidential candidate Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, Alex's father.
The ex-Wall Street banker was prime minister of Peru from 2005 to 2006. He's also a widely respected economist, and given a lot of the credit for the current administration's economic success. Peru has flourished economically for the past decade, and members of the business community would love to ensure continued economic growth, but the current front runner in the country's presidential race is former army officer Ollanta Humala. Humala came within six percentage points of winning the election in 2006, running on a Hugo Chavez-like platform. Though he has softened his rhetoric since, the pro-business candidates--Kucyznski, former President Alejandro Toledo, and Keiko Fujimori--have said that Humala will step up government control of the economy and potentially scare off foreign investment.
The support of the APRA increases Kuczynski's chances of finishing second in today's first round of voting, which would qualify him for the June 5 run-off vote. The APRA is not running a candidate this election, and despite the fact that current President Alan Garcia, who cannot run again, has a disapproval rate of nearly 60 percent, the support could help Kuczynski overcome Fujimori, who is currently ahead of him. Though he is ahead of the business-backed candidates, Humala isn't expected to garner the 50 percent of the vote needed to avoid a second round. The most recent polls have him with 28.1 percent, Fujimori with 21.1 percent, and Kuczynski with 19.9 percent.