As Peruvian presidential election heads for definition, with nearly 98% of ballots counted and candidates Pedro Castillo and Keiko Fujimori separated by just under 70,000 votes, political scientist Adriana Urrutia warns of fragmented training of the new National Congress.
President of the NGO Transparencia, she says that maintaining a divided Parliament, without a clear majority, will lead Peru to another period of instability, as has happened in the past five years, when the country had four presidents, two of whom were removed from their posts. by vacancy motions approved by the Legislature.
Over the phone, Urrutia also tells Folha that Keiko’s electoral fraud accusations lack authenticity, as they were made long after the polls closed. Alberto Fujimori’s daughter’s complaint was also only revealed after being overtaken by Castillo in the tally.
How do you view Keiko Fujimori’s accusations of fraud? The word fraud has been used a lot since the campaign, and it is for this reason that it has been trivialized. However, it is very dangerous that this expression gains force after the election, as it cannot normalize a fact which, if proven, constitutes a serious electoral offense.
The cases presented must be investigated, but we must analyze them with some caution. In Peru, the votes, after being recorded in the minutes, are eliminated, so that they are not subjected to other manipulations. And the closing of the minutes after counting the votes is supervised by inspectors from all parties. Therefore, coming to affirm the day after the elections that such a vote contained irregularities arouses suspicion. Why did the wrongful party prosecutor not report it at the time of the alleged fraud? Why did you stamp a minute that contained something irregular? After all, it is no longer possible to go back to the previous step of verifying the votes, because they have been destroyed. We only have the minutes.
There is a time to challenge the minutes, and it is at the table, at the close of election day. Just here. And right now are all the other inspectors. Pointing out irregularities a day later does not seem valid. Besides being almost impossible to prove. It ends up being an accusation for setting up a theater, just. And the alleged evidence presented brings specific cases, which makes it incorrect to speak of “systematic” fraud. To qualify an illegal act as systematic, you have to prove something more organic and general, organized in order to tarnish the credibility of the election.
And what about the videos that show coordinators from Perú Libre, Castillo’s party, ordering inspectors to act irregularly? It’s the same thing. Inspectors’ preparation takes place weeks before the election. Why present this as proof of something the day after the election? I’m not saying that there couldn’t be incorrect attitudes on the part of Peru Libre inspectors at polling stations, but a video weeks before the election proves nothing. In addition, the presence of inspectors from other parties in polling stations is a constant. Why the inspectors of the Popular Force [partido de Keiko] didn’t they say anything at the time?
Whoever wins the election, the country will have a fragmented Congress, with Free Peru the largest force, and the Força Popular the second, far from the majority. How unstable will this Parliament be? It will depend on the members of Congress. It is necessary, given the gravity of the situation in the country, that they assume from the outset a governance pact. If that doesn’t happen, we can see the same movie from the last few years, with repeated vacancy requests. Many politicians have exhausted themselves in this process, many parties have become even more divided. We hope they don’t want to perpetuate this scenario and act more responsibly. But it’s impossible to know.
Despite the extreme ideological polarization, Castillo and Keiko are conservative when it comes to civil rights. What can we expect in terms of advances in women’s rights, the LGBTQ community and the recognition of minorities? In addition to being conservative, a very serious thing that we were asking a lot for was the clearer presentation of government programs. We had no programmatic discussions, there was no climate, with the rush that was the election, in the midst of a pandemic and with the fragmentation of candidates. In addition to the surprises in the definition of the first place.
Thus, there was no clear position of either party on these issues, but it is correct to say that none of them has these issues as a priority. I think it will depend on the agreements in Congress and the pressure from feminists, who are not happy with the situation.
How will interim president Francisco Sagasti come out of his brief term? Very reinforced. He was particularly committed to the issue of vaccines, even though we started too late and the country has suffered greatly from the pandemic. He insisted on making the figures transparent and looking for possible solutions. And he also acted correctly in relation to the election. In fact, he was the best of the four who held the presidency in that last term.