Alberto Fujimori says Peru needed the order, discipline, even “an iron fist” he displayed in his first term. Critics fear he’ll be even more authoritarian the second time around.
Fujimori was re-elected in a landslide Sunday to oversee Peru’s fortunes until the end of the century.
“I think the re-election of President Fujimori is going to lead us to a more authoritarian government than in his first term,” said retired army Gen. Luis Cisneros.
The national elections board said at noon Monday that with 44 percent of the votes counted, Fujimori had 64 percent. His nearest challenger, Javier Perez de Cuellar, was a distant second with 22.5 percent.
Fujimori, 56, said he plans to strengthen what he already has accomplished, including free-market reforms and a crackdown on guerrillas.
“That means defeating inflation once and for all, completely defeating the violence and continuing the economic growth,” he said.
Perez de Cuellar, a former U.N. secretary-general, had based his campaign on creating jobs and eliminating poverty.
Since his election in 1990 as a darkhorse candidate, Fujimori has put the brakes on hyper-inflation that once topped 7,500 percent but was only 15 percent last year.
He also nearly has wiped out the Shining Path, the ruthless Maoist rebel movement which had terrified the country since 1980 and whose bombings and threats had marred past national elections.
No rebel-related violence was reported Sunday.
Many of Fujimori’s achievements came after 1992, when he closed Congress and the courts - claiming they were obstructionist - and began ruling with dictatorial powers. A new Congress later wrote a constitution that allowed Fujimori to run for a second successive term, an unusual policy in Latin America.