After Fujimori, Peru Gets a Primer on Ethics

Bishops Set Out Guidelines on Candidates

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LIMA, Peru, MAR. 5, 2001 ( In the wake of the Fujimori government scandals, the Peruvian bishops have issued a document describing what a political candidate should be.

«Ethical Guidelines for the 2001 General Elections» addresses squarely the transition Peru is experiencing, following one of its gravest institutional crises ever.

On April 8, Peruvians will choose a new president, as well as two vice presidents, and 120 congressmen, for a five-year mandate beginning this July.

The successful presidential candidate will succeed Valentín Paniagua, who replaced President Alberto Fujimori, removed from office by Congress last November. Fujimori is now living in Japan. There are eight presidential candidates, among them Alejandro Toledo, who is leading in the polls, followed by Lourdes Flores, who in turn is flanked by former head of state, Alan García.

The bishops state that the «candidates must present themselves with a willingness to serve, and not profit from power. They must be competent, and have solid moral principles, primarily honesty.»

Candidates also «must express their ideas and proposals with clarity and truthfulness on the country´s situation, and compare them with other positions.»

Lastly, the bishops say that the «electoral campaign must have content and be carried out with dignity, always seeking the common good of Peru. There must be good civil dialogue on important topics, with due respect for persons.»

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