Kissing Peru politician wins underwear from fans

Mon Jun 21, 2010 6:48pm EDT
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By Terry Wade

LIMA (Reuters) - Charles Zevallos, a politician in Peru's Amazon basin, often wins kisses from female supporters, but things have moved to a whole new level as women at his rallies have started throwing their underwear at him.

Zevallos, a candidate for mayor in the province of Maynas, has made a tradition of giving fans, watches or soccer balls at his rallies in exchange for women's kisses.

But in the past few days, some supporters have taken off their underpants and tossed them to him during rallies for his progressive party, 1000 Movimiento Integracion Loretana.

Zevallos has downplayed any resemblance to Tom Jones, the Welsh crooner who for years was showered with women's panties while performing at pop music concerts.

Commentators in Peru's capital of Lima, 990 miles from Maynas, said the underwear throwing was proof that politics in the Andean country had reached a new low.

"It was spontaneous, I didn't ask for them, but then I saw a pair of yellow ones, and then another woman threw another pair at me," Zevallos said.

He said he cannot be blamed for having zealous supporters.

"I don't know if this will stop, it's really crazy here right now. The people love me," Zevallos said.

(Additional reporting by Enrique Mandujano; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)