With almost 100% of the votes counted, the trade unionist Pedro Castillo is confirmed as the most voted candidate in the first round of the presidential elections, followed by the ultra-liberal Keiko Fujimori. The two leaders will meet in the second round on June 6, when Peru will choose between the orthodox left and the legacy of Fujimori. Despite their enormous differences, both options coincide in conservatism regarding issues such as abortion or LGTBI rights.
The ballots for the second round of the presidential elections in Peru already have names. An ultra-close first round opens the door to two opposing options at the head of the Presidency of Peru.
On the one hand, the winner of the first round with 19.1% of the votes, Pedro Castillo, leader of Peru Libre. On the other hand, Keiko Fujimori, who achieved 13.3% of the support, in what is his third attempt to reach the presidency of the country, at the head of the Popular Force party.
The gulf that separates both candidates poses a highly polarized scenario that 25 million citizens are called upon to resolve on June 6. In the words of the Peruvian journalist Jonathan Castro published in the Washington Post: “The country will become polarized when faced with the question: Who is the least threatening to the democratic system?”
Different experts point to the division of the electorate between fear of the radical left and fear of the return of Fujimori.
Economic abyss, conservative confluence
Pedro Castillo is a rural teacher, trade unionist, socially conservative and economically radical on the left. Keiko Fujimori represents the inheritance of her father’s policies. Of course, both coincide in rejecting policies with a gender perspective, pro reproductive rights and LGTBI.
The trade unionist Pedro Castillo advocates a strong State, the end of business monopolies and “labor exploitation”, according to El País. Castillo proposes the formation of a Constituent Assembly to draft a new Constitution, which would imply the dissolution of the Congress elected at the polls on April 11.
Castillo went from being an unknown to the leader of a first round that, a priori, became unpredictable. According to different experts, the reasons for the rise of the teacher are due to his distancing from the elites of Lima and his closeness to the population of the Peruvian Sierra.
On the other hand, they indicate that, in such a crowded campaign, the teacher had the support of the militant teacher networks to which he belongs. In fact, the unionist became known after leading an educational strike in 2017, for the improvement of the working conditions of teachers.
On the other hand, the right-wing Keiko Fujimori, vindicates the neoliberal economic model and the 1993 Constitution drafted under the mandate of her father, Alberto Fujimori, of whom she is a staunch defender. In fact, the presidential candidate assured that, if she comes to power, she will pardon her father.
His father, Alberto Fujimori, is serving a 25-year prison sentence for crimes of corruption, robbery and murder. In addition, his government was responsible for the forced sterilization of thousands of women from the working class and Quechua communities.
The leader of the Fuerza Popular party is in turn peppered with financial scandals. A Peruvian prosecutor asked, a few weeks ago, 30 years in prison for Fujimori (daughter) and the dissolution of the party.
The reasons would lie in the results of an investigation launched in 2018 for money laundering and collection of millionaire donations from the construction company Odebrecht for its 2011 and 2016 campaigns.
Despite the gulf that separates the two candidates economically, both converge in their conservatism in terms of gender equality, reproductive rights and LGTBI. They agree in rejecting marriage between people of the same gender, abortion and the need to implement policies with a feminist perspective.
A highly fragmented pre and post electoral political scene
The scant grassroots support for either candidate adds to the difficulty of coordinating the executive with the legislature. A highly fragmented, polarized power responsible for the country having met three presidents in four years.
The lawyer and professor Juan de la Puente explains to the newspaper El País that “the elected Congress is much more conservative than the ones we have had in recent years and is fragmented. This correlation is interesting because it is very likely that the conservative sectors will achieve a parliamentary majority to give sustainability to a Fujimori government or to make a tough opposition to the Castillo government. “
Whoever he is, the next Peruvian Head of State will have to face the aftermath of the pandemic, which in the Andean country has driven 1.8 million citizens into poverty, which in percentage terms already affects 27.5 of the population, according to IMF data.
#Keiko #Castillo #Peru #decide #Fujimorism #orthodox #radical #left