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  • Documents on Democracy


Pedro Pablo Kuczynski of the Peruvians for Change party was elected president on June 9 by the narrowest election margin in Peru’s history. Kuczynski, popularly known by his initials PPK, was sworn into office on July 28. (For more on Peru’s elections, see the essay on pp. 145–58.) Below are excerpts from his inauguration speech:

I must thank everyone. Those who voted for me in the first round, and those who supported my candidacy in the second round. But I must also thank those who did not vote for us. And all those who are represented in this Parliament, a symbol of democracy. I want to assure everyone of my gratitude and my commitment to seeing this country reach the goal of peace and unity for all Peruvians.

It is my duty to assure that during the bicentennial of our independence, which will happen exactly five years from now, we can fulfill the dreams of the founders of our republic. Yes to peace, yes to unity. No to confrontation, no to division.

And what is that dream that became the promise of our republic? Liberty and independence from foreign power in order to create a prosperous country under the rule of law. Equality, equity, and fraternity for all Peruvians. Access to opportunity; growth—not just economic, but human—through a magnificent education; health care that is responsive to the needs of the people, including access to both preventative and comprehensive care, to assure the health of the individual and society; timely and predictable justice; as well as conditions of security to achieve the longed-for peace in our streets and in our homes.

In less than two-hundred years, Peru transformed itself and reached goals unthinkable a century ago, such as drastically reducing illiteracy and eradicating contagious diseases, thanks to vaccination. These advances are undeniable; but we all know more is needed—much more. …

I want a social revolution for my country. I long for a Peru that, in five [End Page 182] years, will be a modern country, more just, more equitable, and more caring.

What does it mean to be a modern country? It means that the inequality between the poorest and the richest is resolved by raising the incomes of the poor. …

To be a modern country means to be a country that is honest and not corrupt. … To be a modern country means to be a country without discrimination. … To be a modern country means to have equality of opportunity for both sexes. …

In 2021, the year of the bicentennial, our country will be respected worldwide as a democracy that respects human rights, especially the rights of minorities, and which fulfills its duties to its citizens.


On May 20, Ennahda party president Rachid Ghannouchi addressed delegates at the opening ceremony of the tenth party conference in Tunis, outlining the party’s decision to separate affairs of religion from those of the state. (For more on Ennahda’s historic shift, see the essay on pp. 99–109.) Excerpts from the speech appear below:

We, in Ennahdha, are serious and sincere in our desire to learn from our shortcomings before and after the revolution. We admit them and we humbly address them through reform … and are not afraid to admit our mistakes.

We are a party that never stopped evolving from the seventies to this day: from an ideological movement engaged in the struggle for identity (when identity was under threat) to a comprehensive protest movement against an authoritarian regime, to a national democratic party devoted to reform, based on a national reference drawing from the values of Islam, committed to the articles of the Constitution and the spirit of our age, thus consolidating the clear and definitive line between Muslim democrats and extremist and violent trends that falsely attribute themselves to Islam.

The specialization and distinction between the political and other social action are not a sudden decision or a capitulation to temporary pressures, but rather the culmination of a historical evolution in which the political field and the social, cultural and religious field were distinct in practice in our movement.

We are keen to keep religion far from...


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pp. 182-186
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