Toledo top pick for presidency in Peru:poll


LIMA, AFP

Former presidential candidate Alejandro Toledo is Peruvian’s top pick for president in general elections in April 2001, according to a poll published here Sunday. Twenty-six percent of those polled by Datum International said they would back Toledo, former president Alberto Fujimori’s main rival in May elections, if he were a candidate. Fujimori resigned the presidency on November 19, in a letter from Tokyo, after a corruption scandal unraveled his controversial third term. Peruvian legislators voted to dismiss him rather than accept his resignation. Congress president Valentin Paniagua was sworn in as interim president since Fujimori’s two vice presidents had also resigned. The second most popular pick for Peru’s next president was Fujimori’s first vice president, Francisco Tudela. Twenty-two percent of those surveyed said they would vote for him if he were a candidate. The poll, which has a four percent margin of error, surveyed a total of 2,000 people in different Peruvian cities. It was conducted November 4 to 7, when Fujimori was still president. It showed his disapproval rating at 79 percent, versus 19 percent who still voiced support for the once-popular strongman. Running third in the poll was lawmaker Fernando Olivera, leader of the Independent Moralizing Front, the party which in September released a video showing Fujimori’s intelligence chief Vladimiro Montesinos bribing an opposition legislator to join the pro-Fujimori bloc. That video caused Montesinos to flee Peru. His eventual return and the government’s failure to arrest him were key factors in Fujimori’s downfall. Other possible candidates for president, Lima Mayor Alberto Andrade and Peru’s Ombudsman Jorge Santistevan received six percent support in the poll. Fifty-two percent of those questioned said the next president should represent a new political consortium, while 27 percent said he should come from an existing party.