Keiko Fujimori, 45, daughter of former Peruvian autocratic leader Alberto Fujimori, will contest the second round of the country’s presidential election, scheduled for June 6, against union leader Pedro Castillo.
With 98.4% of the polls counted, the former deputy appears this Wednesday (14) with 13.3%, slightly ahead of Rafael López Aliaga (11.6%), who attracted attention because of the link with the Catholic Church – he is from Opus Dei – and the conservative customs agenda. Thus, it came to be called “Peruvian Bolsonaro”.
Keiko, who is running for the presidency for the third time, heads the Popular Force, a Fujimorist party that today helped topple ex-president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, a movement that sparked the political crisis in the country: the country’s interim president Francisco Sagasti is the fourth in the current term.
PPK, as Kuczynski is called, resigned in 2016. His successor, Martín Vizcarra, was removed from his post in November 2020 after facing two impeachment cases, also for receiving bribes. wine, which would place it in the category of “moral incapacity”, preventing continuity. in the position. Subsequently, Congressman Manuel Merino de Lama took over for just six days, who resigned after episodes of violence following the institutional crisis.
Castillo’s opponent has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Boston University and is married to an American with whom he has two daughters. In 2018, Keiko was arrested on charges of money laundering and receiving two money from Brazilian entrepreneur Odebrecht. The following year he obtained a habeas corpus, but the process is not yet complete.
Unlike the 2011 and 2016 elections, in which he reached the second round but ended up being defeated, this time Keiko will not make any gestures of reconciliation or apologies for the human rights violations committed by the father for mitigate the rejection of his name. On two occasions, she stressed that she did not agree with the excesses of the Fujimori period in power and said that she would not forgive people prosecuted or imprisoned for them – like her own father.
The strategy was deemed negative by his campaign, as Jorge Baca Campodónico, Fujimori government minister and head of coordination of the Keiko program for economic recovery, recently said. For its marketers, the gesture was seen as synonymous with weakness.
Keiko made promises related to getting back to formal work. It firmly rejects restrictive measures due to the pandemic, which would affect the vulnerable population and informal workers much more. The anti-quarantine rhetoric has been successful, especially in the north of the country, where poverty is greatest and the economic downturn has been felt the most.
During the last presidential debate, she declared that she would make more activities more flexible to create more jobs. “The quarantines have been a failure, the efforts of millions of Peruvians who stayed at home when the government broke its promise to improve the health care system were wasted.”
Regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, Keiko promises to reach the goal of 70,000 virus detection tests per day and to devote more efforts to the purchase of vaccines.
Castillo, 51, is a surprise to many. When reporting the first results, CNN in Spanish didn’t even have a photo of him to display. The candidate showed himself to the world in a picturesque way, going to vote on horseback, in Cajamarca, in the Andean region.
Unionist and high school teacher, he made himself known nationally by leading teachers’ strikes, the most famous of them in 2017. “I want to thank the forgotten peoples of my country, greet men and women. women who are found in the corners of the country, greet those who they are beyond the borders of the motherland, where the state does not arrive. Today, the Peruvian people have just taken the blindfold off him, ”he said, learning the first results that put him in mind.
A candidate for the Perú Libre alliance, he advocates higher salaries for employees in the education sector. He has an anti-corruption rhetoric and proposes to dissolve the Constitutional Court and the 1993 Constitution – according to him officials to allow irregular practices.
Some of his campaign promises are seen as quite authoritarian. Castillo plans, for example, to regulate the media and to put an end to “television which only spreads garbage”. And he has promised to reduce the civil service, which he considers corrupt.
The candidate is against abortion, gay marriage and euthanasia.
In the economy, it promises more state intervention and the nationalization of oil companies and energy production. Castillo says his new constitution will implement “equitable asset sharing” in Peru.
Analysts said this year’s election reflects the dismantling situation of Peruvian parties, growing distrust of politics caused by repeated corruption scandals and the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Peru is one of the South American countries hardest hit by Covid, with 1.6 million cases and nearly 55,000 deaths since the start of the crisis – and is now seeing a further increase in cases.
Despite the pandemic, 72% of voters went to the polls – voting is compulsory in Peru. In the 2016 elections, that number rose to 81.8%.