Peruvian ex-leader pledges come-back despite ban

Ex-President of Peru, Alberto Fujimori, vows to make a comeback in the country’s elections in April, despite an election tribunal banning him from holding office until 2011...

Fujimori, President of Peru from 1990 to 2000, was widely regarded as a successful leader until accusations of corruption ended his presidency in 2000 and he exiled himself to Japan.

Last month, Fujimori flew to Chile to begin preparations for his electoral bid but he was subsequently arrested by Chilean authorities and he is now awaiting extradition to Peru.

An official from the alliance led by Mr Fujimori said this latest ban by the election tribunal is political. The group must now decide whether to appeal against the decision or to find another candidate for the forthcoming election.

Despite the allegations which have plagued Fujimori for the last few years, to many Peruvians he is remembered as the president who replaced terrorists with tourists and he is largely regarded as the rightful leader of Peru.

When Fujimori came to power in 1990 he was the first person of East Asian origin to become head of state of a Latin American country. At the time he was sworn in, Peru was on the brink of collapse as inflation escalated and guerrilla warfare raged through the countryside.

Against expectations Fujimori managed to put a stop to the terrorism being carried out by el Sendero Luminoso (the Shining Path) and the Movimiento Revolucionario Túpac Amaru (MRTA).

By the end of his presidency Fujimori has managed to decrease the annual rate of inflation to 3.7 per cent and he had taken measures to increase the influx of tourists bringing more employment to Peru.

However, Fujimori was criticised for his authoritarian style of leadership which he demonstrated in the auto-coup of 1992 when he ordered a restructure of the chains of control in Peruvian government and constitution in such a way as to increase his own power and control.

Allegations of corruption are common in Peruvian politics.

Earlier this year the current leader, President Toledo, was found guilty of electoral fraud by the congressional commission. Despite his party being found guilty of forging many of the signatures it used to register for the 2000 elections, congress voted not to impeach the president.

Whether Fujimori will find a way out of this latest legal ban and stand in the election is yet to be seen but it will certainly add to the growing tension across the country as the date of the election draws closer.