Former Alianza Lima goalkeeper George Forsyth, 38, who led the polls for Peru’s presidential elections, is one foot away. In fact, his candidacy was excluded, in the first place, by the electoral court, because of irregularities in the presentation of his assets.
The decision can be appealed and Forsyth argues that it is a “dirty war” and “political persecution”.
“The old political leaders and the media said we were going to fall in the polls a year ago. We didn’t fall and we kept the top spot. So now, fraudulently, they want us have out of the conflict, said in an interview with the newspaper El Comercio.
Opposed to debates and conversations with the press, Forsyth preferred to use social media to campaign. TikTok is one of his favorites, in positions where he plays football with children, plays with his dog and rehearses the dance of the Oompa-Loompas, the employees of the “Fantastic Chocolate Factory”. However, after his electoral disqualification, he spoke to the mainstream media to expose his repudiation to the electoral tribunal.
Forsyth does not say “neither right nor left” and presents himself with the typical formula of “the outsider”, who wants to manage the country with technicians and directly with the people, without associating with the traditional parties.
Morally, he presents himself as a conservative – he is against same-sex marriage and abortion.
Its number has grown significantly in the past year as Peru plunged into a crisis of political instability, with Congress and the executive making each other unachievable, leading to the downfall of then-President Martín. Vizcarra, and his direct successor, Manuel Merino de Lama, until the country achieved its fourth president in a single term: Francisco Sagasti.
The Ipsos Institute’s most recent survey of the April elections indicates a first round in which discouragement in choosing a candidate is the protagonist – voting is compulsory in the country. Of the 18 candidates (including Forsyth), 6 do not reach 1% of voters.
The leader remains Forsyth, with 11%, followed by center-right Yonhy Lescano (Ação Popular), with 10%. Tied behind them are Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of ex-president Alberto Fujimori, who is running for her third attempt to run for office, with 8%, and the left Verónika Mendoza, also a candidate in 2016.
Keiko Fujimori is also responding to corruption cases, one of which refers to the accusation of having received Box 2 from Odebrecht during his participation in the 2011 elections.
Voter polls also show strong rejection of contestants – so-called “anti-voting” (would definitely not pick the candidate) ranges from 43% to 72% for eight of them.
The image of President Sagasti has also deteriorated since taking office, with the promise to give the country some stability until the elections. When he took over in November, he had a 44% approval rating. Today it is 38%.
Most likely there will be a second round in June, at a date yet to be confirmed, between the two who have managed to improve their performance so far.
Peru was the country most affected by the coronavirus in South America if we consider the mortality per number of inhabitants. Until Tuesday (2), it has accumulated 1,332,939 cases and 46,685 deaths.
After weeks of crises due to lack of oxygen in some cities, the contagion curve in the country has stabilized for a few days. The government has reopened trade and some activities, however, the country continues with severe mobility restrictions. The border with Brazil, for example, is closed due to new variants found in the country.
The economy will be the biggest challenge for the next president, since the country is also the one with the biggest projection of a decline in GDP for this year, according to ECLAC, of 14%.