Peru: Tough battle between Castillo and Fujimori in the second round of presidential elections

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Its citizens are called to the polls today Peru to elect their new president between the two winners of the first round of the presidential election: the populist right-wing candidate Keiko Fujimori and the representative of the radical left Pedro Castillo.

In a country where voting is mandatory and there is a threat of fines, it is expected that the majority of citizens will go to the polls today.

The main concern of Peruvians today is the alarming numbers of the new coronavirus epidemic, which has already claimed the lives of more than 184,000 people in the country, making it the fifth deadliest person in the world since the pandemic and the first in relation to its population (33 million).

Following the November 2020 popular uprising to protest the actions of parliament and the ouster of three presidents in 10 days, citizens were waiting for this presidential election to end a prolonged political instability in the country, which also saw six foreign ministers. in a year.

However, the future president will not have his hands free to govern. In the parliamentary elections held in early April during the first round of elections, no party secured a majority. Pedro Castillo’s Peru Libre party was slightly ahead of Keiko Fujimori’s Fuerza Popular party.

Peru: Second round for the third time for Fujimori

At the same time, instead of easing tensions, the second-round election campaign fueled them as it dealt with two very competitive camps, which are also “breast-to-breast” in the polls: Castillo’s 42% of the vote, compared to 40 Fuchimori, according to a poll by the Ipsos Institute a week before the election.

The 46-year-old Fujimori and her supporters did not stop waving the red flag in relation to the candidate of the radical left, saying that he would turn Peru into a kind of North Korea or Venezuela and lead the country to destruction and dictatorship.

On the other hand, the 51-year-old trade unionist and educator Castillo kept repeating that with his opponent “there will be more poor people in a rich country” and that corruption will continue.

Castillo refers to the scandal with the Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht, who admitted that he had made bribes in many Latin American countries. This case tarnished the reputation of the Peruvian political class.

No less than four former presidents, one of whom committed suicide, were involved in the scandal, and Keiko Fujimori, who has already been remanded in custody for 16 months for alleged money laundering in the case, saw the prosecution seek a prison sentence. 30 years old.

In case of victory, after two failures in the second rounds of the presidential elections in 2011 and 2016, Fujimori will become the first female president of Peru and will not be able to stand trial until her five-year term expires.

Deteriorating financial situation

Although both candidates have diametrically opposed political agendas, statehood and nationalization on the one hand, free competition and tax cuts on the other, they nevertheless agree on some social issues.

In this country with faithful Catholics, both are against abortion, defending the traditional family and not paying attention to the rights of the LGBT community.

The winner of the election will have to face a deteriorating economic situation: after experiencing for years growth above the average in Latin America, the country’s economy shrank by 11.12% in 2020, with this percentage being the worst recorded here and three decades.

Two million Peruvians lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic and three million fell into poverty. One third of the residents are classified as poor, according to official figures.

Castillo is committed to change in the event of his victory in the Constituent Assembly election, while Fujimori defends the current Constitution that guarantees economic liberalism, which was introduced in 1993 by Alberto’s father, who served as president from 1990 to 1990. 2000 and is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence for corruption and crimes against humanity.

She reiterates her intention to grant him a presidential pardon.

Polling stations will remain open for 12 consecutive hours to avoid overcrowding, from 07:00 to 19:00 local time (15: 00-03: 00 Greek time). The first official results are expected to be announced around 23:00 local time (07:00 Greek time tomorrow Monday).

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