The tension experienced during the last two months by the most polarized elections in Peru were transformed this Sunday into serenity. Millions of Peruvians went to the polling stations to elect one of the two candidates for the head of government: the leftist Pedro Castillo and the rightist Keiko Fujimori. The two showed absolute calm at the time of casting their ballot, far removed from the almost fratricidal war that they have maintained especially in recent weeks, as a result of the first electoral round revealing a tie in their options.
Precisely, it is possible to think that this equality between the two candidates encouraged many citizens to vote, after a campaign finale where the two parties have insisted that each vote counts for victory and that the future of the nation will be radically different depending on who wins. There is no center-right or close politics. Keiko Fujimori presents a program for the neoliberal right, while Professor Pedro Castillo is committed to a left-wing future. Even the fact that the mentor of his training is a doctor considered Marxist-Leninist has worked against him in recent days by intimidating part of the electorate with his radical plans.
Experience also weighs on this important influx, since in 2016 Fujimori was defeated by Pedro Pablo Kuczynski by only a few thousand votes. At the close of this edition (around four in the afternoon Peru time) the schools were still open and the analysts were not deciding to make forecasts. Apart from the person who will run the country for the next few years, Peruvians know that they vote for two completely different economic models. And that they do it in the middle of an unprecedented crisis caused by the epidemic, with unemployment and poverty on a galloping increase.
All the national media started the day yesterday with the tradition of broadcasting the breakfast of the applicants reunited with their families. And as is also usual, they took the opportunity to send subliminal messages. For example, Keiko Fujimori had breakfast in one of the most miserable neighborhoods of Lima while Castillo did it at his home in Chugur, a humble home, where he consumed the broth accompanied by bread and cheese from Cajamarca, the Andean region from which he is a native. .
The two candidates assured at that time that they will respect the results of the polls, however tight they may be. Castillo, the leader of Peru Libre, known as the “pencil party,” also advocated peaceful elections and invited Peruvians to remain calm and avoid provocations. The daughter of former President Fujimori, whom he has promised to pardon from the 25-year prison sentence he is serving for crimes against humanity, also asked citizens to vote “without fear, in search of peace to defend democracy and defend the destination we want ».
High participation in Spain
For his part, the nation’s president, Francisco Sagasti, stated that “the most important thing is to respect the will of the people. Electoral bodies are autonomous. What the Executive does is support them and respect their autonomy. The president also asked citizens to “go to vote” because “it is a right but also a civic responsibility.
In total, 25 million people participate in elections within the country, but there are another million who also vote from abroad. Its importance is high. Traditionally, this group opts for Fujimori. Thousands of Peruvians gathered in Spain in a total of fourteen cities. Most of the 150,000 registered on the electoral lists deposited their ballots in Madrid and Barcelona.