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June 22, 2011 20:38:47 | in General

Peru's new president: What do students have to say?

Students tell us what they request from Humala's presidency.

By Juan Carlos Manning

How do students feel about Ollanta Humala coming to power?

For this particular inquiry, we went to the Universidad Católica in Lima. We asked them the following two questions:

(1) How do you feel about Ollanta Humala becoming our next president?
(2) If you could request one thing to Humala, what would it be?

Out of all the answers we got, these five have been chosen:

Jose Luis Quequesana
Law student

(1) I think it's a good thing that Ollanta Humala won the presidential elections, because he was chosen democratically despite what other people may think of the situation.

(2) I would ask him not to modify radically and mess up what has been built so far in terms of infrastructure. He can make changes, but not something that would affect all of us poorly in the long-run.

Jose Carlos Ugaz
Major: Communication for Development

(1) When I saw the final results, I felt rather calm. Mostly because I thought that the people of Peru had voted morally and because it shows they do remember what was done to them before. I feel calm, because I don't think Peru’s economy will backtrack like the press has been hinting may happen. I think Peru has a possibility to open up and I also think that there are real improvements that can be made economically and socially speaking.

(2) I would ask him to respect all Peruvians and to govern with them, not over them. I would ask him to keep his word on what he complied politically and to restore the trust in Peruvian politics, as it's evident that during the past elections Peru has polarized a lot.

Alejandra Kuzma
Major: Psychology

(1) I feel a little bit scared, but I like to think that it's a brand new opportunity for the entire country. Even more for those who have long been forgotten, those who are in most need of the government’s attention and care.

(2) I would ask him to respect freedom of speech and to not promote totalitarianism. I would also ask him to respect the agreements that were already forged before his rise to power. Also, that before making any radical changes, he sees to it that most of the nation agrees with it and finally, that he prioritize the poorest people’s needs as they are those who, like I said, are in most need.

Chiara Klatich
Major: Literature

(1) About Humala becoming Peru’s next president, I feel optimistic that he will set up solid foundations for a real democratic system; one that is truly a government for everyone and not a tyranny in disguise.

(2) If it would have to be one thing, I would ask him to change the educational system for good, as he promised.

Luis Vargas
Major: Sociology

(1) First of all, I feel relieved that Keiko Fujimori and the questioned people surrounding her have not risen to power, which I would have found devastating for the country in every sense of the word. It's a remarkable thing that even after such a powerful campaign against Ollanta Humala provided by the media and the economic and political systems, the country has finally decided to show that it has recollection and dignity; I think that this is a small step of social maturity for Peru. In that sense, Humala’s victory soothes me. I cannot help but feel a sudden sense of optimism. I think Ollanta Humala has the possibility to make structural reforms that this country will need.

(2) I would ask him patience and tolerance. He needs to take into account that the people from the media who were trying to scare the Peruvian people will not stay put and will be at him every chance they have; especially when he's not doing something the way they would have him do it. The right thinks that they can decide what should and should not be done and always have the power to make their voice be listened. The opposition in the congress will be tough as well. I think that probably some nationalist projects will be quickly dismissed and that is something that Humala and his people should be accepting since now. Hereafter it's necessary for Humala to have the strength to govern such a polarized country, in which he will be the target of almost every disagreement. He needs to be prepared if it so happens that his every move is heavily scrutinized. The worst thing that Humala could do is show himself intolerant with critiques, be them justified or not and also if he adopted a self-defense posture as that will only give power to those who want him to fail.

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