As a friend versed in Peruvian politics put it to your humble scribe via WhatsApp a few moments ago, “Wow“. The darker forces of Peruvian politics, led by the right wing César Acuña and his 180° decision earlier in the day to see his APP party bloc vote FOR this cabinet, was enough for other parties and players (centred around the ideologically eclectic Acción Popular party) to get into line. The result happened just a few minutes ago, something that was near-unthinkable one day before: Guido Bellido’s cabinet has been ratified by Peru’s Congress. It has been given green light to enact its policies.
And now all Peru bets are off: This is clearly a move by the Right of the “Give Em Enough Rope” variety, but how they plan to play the strategy is unclear. By ratifying the cabinet and its ministers, Congress now gets to attack its ministers one by one so that might be the plan, to moderate from within and whittle power away, before demanding another confidence vote. The other is more sinister, as it’s obvious this cabinet ratification now hands a lot of power to the Perú Libre party leader and hard Communist, Vladimir Cerrón. His staunch opponents, e.g. Acuña, know they are handing real power to their militant enemy by voting this way, so let’s go with “Be careful what you wish for” and be done. Regarding the “Peru bets”, most of us have witnessed the recovery in Peru vehicle this week. Here’s EPU, the Lima Stock Market ETF tracker (10 day chart below), up 10% on the week to recover fully from its drop the week before:
The Peru Sol recovered 4c to close at S/4.07 to the USD, as well. To wrap up today in the first person, the strangeness wasn’t about getting the call wrong (again), but understanding why long before being able to correct it. Deep Peru politics works this way, editorial consensus changed almost by magic overnight. Peru went to sleep convinced (as I was) that Bellido didn’t stand a chance, then woke up to right wing newspapers op-ed that were, quite suddenly, wording their positions less stridently and more diplomatically. Then César Acuña set the cat among the pigeons by recommending the way he did and suddenly, peace broke out. Another lesson in bizarre with a slice of crow, I should have learned by now not to talk in certainties when it comes to LatAm politics.