Correspondent in Lima
Next April 11, more de 25 million Peruvians They will elect the president from a bunch of 18 candidates, among which the former congressman of the centrist Popular Action stands out. ANDonhy Lescano, the celibate right-wing businessman Rafael López Aliaga, the leftist leader Veronika Mendoza, the Economist Hernando de Soto, the soccer exporter George Forsyth and Keiko Sofía Fujimori, who is running for the third time for office.
Peru is going through the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, which so far has left more than 100,000 dead, and whose vaccination process has just begun, and 400,000 people have been vaccinated. That is why the election will be held at staggered hours and the State has promised to vaccinate the polling station members as an incentive for them to participate during the 12 hours that the first round elections will last.
«It is a choice Sui generis because there has been no contact between the voters and the presidential candidates due to the pandemic. It is a very strange campaign because there is less visual propaganda, which has accentuated lack of political representation and therefore the fragmentation that is expressed in low numbers of the candidates leading the polls has increased, “Patricia Zárate, the Director of Opinion of the Peruvian Studies Institute (IEP), told ABC.
According to the latest IEP survey, there is a six-fold tie in the first place among Lescano, López Aliaga, Mendoza, De soto, Forsyth and Keiko Sofía Fujimori and it was not yet possible to determine with certainty which candidates will go to the second round to be held on the first Sunday in June.
«In Peru, it seems that we are playing to make elections because in the end, you decide who you vote for without knowing why you vote for X, Y or Z. Less you know their candidates for Congress. In fact, we do not know clearly until today who will go to the second round, “added Zarate.
Last week the presidential debate was held divided into 3 days where six candidates participated in a batch and where Keiko Sofía Fujimori and Verónika Mendoza stood out clearly, followed by Alberto Beingolea, former president Ollanta Humala and Julio Guzmán. For their poor performance, López Aliaga stood out, who only read papers; De soto, for claiming facts that he has not done and Acuña for repeating himself.
Undecided and fragmentation of Parliament
There’s a 30 percent of Peruvians who have not yet decided their vote, and of that universe, the majority are women of the low socioeconomic level of urban Peru, ranging from 40 years to 65 years, Zárate explained to ABC.
On the same day that the president is voted, the members of the Andean Congress and Parliament. For Zárate, the future of the next president in front of Congress will be the closest thing to Dante’s hell. “This time it will be the most demanding job of the next head of state: to negotiate all his decisions with a fragmented congress that fights mainly for his private interests.”
In the last 5 years, Peru has experienced a political roller coaster where the presidency was expected to be handed over by Peter Paul Kuczynski (PPK), who resigned in March 2018 and was replaced by his vice president, Martin Vizcarra, with the support of Keiko Sofia Fujimori, who led the majority bench in Congress.
After that, Vizcarra fought with Keiko Sofía Fujimori (who has entered jail twice) and supports the investigation of the ‘Lavajato’ case (bribes paid by the Brazilian company Odebrecht). Since 2001, all the Peruvian ex-presidents have been investigated in the ‘Lavajato’ case: Alejandro Toledo and PPK They are under house arrest, in the United States and Lima, respectively. Ollanta Humala was imprisoned and faces the process at liberty. In April 2019, Alan Garcia (1985-90 and 2006-11) committed suicide when they went to arrest him accused of being part of the Lavajato case network.
Vizcarra closed Congress in September 2019, appealing to the Constitution (if two motions of censure are rejected, you have that presidential power) and called for new legislative elections in January 2020, where the Popular Action alliance, Alianza por el Progreso ( César Acuña), Podemos Peru (José Luna) and Unión por el Perú (by Antauro Humala) they dismiss him in a film twist for what he did when he was regional governor in Moquegua, in September of the same year.
Manuel Merino, from Acción Popular, succeeded Vizcarra and was dismissed 5 days later for massive nationwide protests after the police killed students Inti Sotelo and Bryan Camargo. In November of last year, and in the middle of the pandemic, Peru had three presidents in a week: Vizcarra, Merino and then Francisco Sagasti, from the Morado party, who was part of the bench that voted against removing Vizcarra.
The only sure thing in the elections next Sunday in the Andean country is that anyone can win them and that until today there is no clear successor for the interim president, Francisco Sagasti.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism