Sunday, October 13, 2013

Perú: First Lady Nadine Heredia May Run for Presidency in 2021 as Nationalist Party Candidate

According to The Peruvian Times, President Ollanta Humala recently said that his wife, First Lady Nadine Heredia, is well-prepared to govern the Andean country, very likely in 2021.

In an interview with CNN, President Humala stressed that Heredia is not campaigning for 2016, largely because the Peruvian constitution prohibits a President’s immediate relatives from running for the presidency.

Daniel Abugattas, former president of Congress in the ruling party, has said that Heredia is a prime candidate for running for the presidency in 2021,  

COMMENT: Humala and Heredia formed the Nationalist Party prior to Humala’s unsuccessful run for president in 2006. Heredia remains a close adviser to the President since then, and was central to his victory in the 2011 presidential campaign. A communications sciences graduate with a master’s degree in sociology and studies at the Sorbonne in Paris, Heredia is charismatic. 

Critics have challenged Humala and Heredia of "co-governing," Heredia's response is "Ollanta and I are a team. We've always been."

President Humala, a 51-year-old former military officer, has maintained relatively high popularity ratings since he took office in July 2011. Yet, support for Humala has tumbled in recent months due to a number of political controversies and a slowdown in the economy.

Pollster Ipsos-Perú said that Humala's popularity fell again in July, dropping to 33% from 41% in the previous month. The survey of 1,660 persons was taken from July 17 to July 19. It has a margin of error of 2.4 percentage points.

GfK Director Hernan Chaparro said that Humala's declining approval rating is also due to ongoing problems like crime and poor public services, as well as the outlook for the economy. Perú's economic activity has slowed in recent months as weak growth in China has hurt the country's exports.

Objectively speaking, if President Humala's popularity continues to  decline and remains flat 2021 could be a challenge for the First Lady, although if the Nationalist Party remains in power during the 2016 election, Heredia may well have a better chance of success in 2021.