Peru’s elections are heading for a second round


Apparently, the second round of presidential elections in Peru promises to be polarised. Last Sunday, 23 million voters went to the polls in this country of 30 million people, where voting is compulsory. Keiko Fujimori and Pedro Pablo Kuzcynski will contest the second round on 5 June, but experts warn that the victory of Keiko Fujimori is not guaranteed.

Keiko is the daughter of former dictator Alberto Fujimori who ruled the country between 1990 and 2000. She belongs to the Popular Forces party and promises to implement a public investment agenda to carry out infrastructure projects that connect the country, such as road construction, and bringing basic services to poor areas.

Kuzcynski was Economy Minister in the government of Alejandre Toledo and the focus of his program is economic liberalisation – but he has failed to strengthen his promises on social action. Kuzcynski belongs the party Peruvians For Change.

The shadow of Alberto Fujimori hovers over Keiko’s campaign, who despite championing respect for human rights is struggling to dissociate herself from her father’s brutal inheritance.

Alberto Fujimori is serving a prison sentence for crimes against humanity, after courts found him guilty of the murder of 25 people he claimed to be terrorists in 1991 and 1992. In addition, he was also convicted of the misuse of state funds.

The latest presidential campaign has been turbulent. The dispute began with 19 candidates in January, but since then, many resigned or were expelled by the new electoral law. The new law allows political parties to exclude candidates for illegal campaign financing.

It is not only the political scene that was troubled. Peruvians face problems in access to voting, especially in the capital Lima. Changes in polling stations, defects in the polls, and criteria changes were just some of the many problems.

Peruvians are worried about the country’s sluggish economic growth and the lack of safety in cities. Whoever they are, the new people’s champion will have much work ahead. June 5 promises to be a decisive day in Peru.


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Pablo Mingoti in Rio de Janeiro

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