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Peru presidential election: Time to take Julio Guzman seriously

Subbers of The IKN Weekly will know the name because we mentioned it a couple of weekends ago, but it's time to note here on the blog that Julio Guzman, virtually unknown before Christmas, is rising rapidly in the voter intention polls for April's presidential election and now represents a serious threat to the establishment figures (Alan Garcia, PPK, Cesar Acuña) who are vying for that all-important second spot behind Keiko Fujimori that gets them into the inevitable second round run-off for the big prize.

Guzman (apologies for lack of accent over the A, doing this post in the airport on a phone) is now polling 10.4% and just in second in front of PPK and Acuña, according to pollsters GfK on Sunday (Keiko on 31% remains a lock for the round one win). Four weeks ago Guzman was on 2%, two weeks ago in a different company's poll he was on 5%. Those are big strides in a short time and it's being fuelled by a groundswell of opinion that wants to see fresh blood in its political scene. Smart, eloquent, presentable and with a strong online presence (his shoestring campaign to date has been based squarely on social media), Guzman fits the bill. Another thing is the lack of difference between all main challengers for the job, as they're all centre-right orthodox neoliberals in real terms, none of the above are going to change the economic path of Peru. That suits the real power in the country just fine (i.e. the dozen or so families that run the place), which means Guzman can slot right in if the great unwashed masses decide they want "change".

Anyway, bottom line is that Julio Guzman is brand new on the scene and as of this moment is to be taken seriously as a candidate. He is at least rattling the old guard, never a bad thing in my experience.