PERU: Wide-Open Election

Campaign posters plastered the stately palms on Lima's Avenida Arequipa, crusted the city's statues, napped from every wall. Neon lights blinked political slogans, and the bellow of the sound truck was heard in the land. In Peru this week, the eight-year rule of a military strongman was coming to a surprising climax in a wide-open presidential election.

President Manuel Odria did not originally plan any such free vote. An orderly general who has brought Peru a glow of prosperity by his economic reforms, Odria cherished the ambition of designating a friendly successor who would carry on his work. His plan...

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