Imprisoned former President Alberto Fujimori, current President Alan García, and Nobel Prize in Literature recipient Mario Vargas Llosa are replicating, in some ways, their own electoral circus from 20 years ago.
He also aimed scathing remarks at the leading presidential candidates, left-wing Ollanta Humala and the right-wing Keiko Fujimori. The latest polls show Mr. Toledo, an economist and former front-runner who served as Peru's first indigenous president from 2001 to 2006, now trailing several points behind Mr. Humala's 29 percent and Ms. Fujimori’s 24 percent.
An election between the latter two, Mr. Vargas Llosa said months ago and repeated this week on a local TV station, is “a choice between terminal cancer and AIDS." He also told CNN that the election of either candidate "would truly be a catastrophe for Peru."
Both candidates have avoided retaliating, knowing that Peruvians are proud of Vargas Llosa's Nobel prize, the first ever won by a Peruvian. Attacking him could be detrimental to their electoral health.
The remarks underscore the influence that Vargas Llosa is playing over the election Sunday, when Peruvian voters go to the polls to pick a new president from among 10 candidates. He is among three names influencing the race, maybe even decisively, who are not on the ballot yet have made the race nastier and more volatile than other recent elections.