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World Peruvian voters face choice between 2 polarizing populists

07:25  06 june  2021
07:25  06 june  2021 Source:   msn.com

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Peruvian voters are facing a choice between two polarizing populist candidates during this weekend's presidential runoff. Peruvian voters will choose between two polarizing populist candidates Sunday in a presidential runoff held as the coronavirus pandemic continues to batter the Andean country and festering anger has led to fears of more political stability. Political novice Pedro Castillo and Keiko Fujimori, making her third run for the presidency, have both promised COVID-19 vaccines for all and other strategies to alleviate the health emergency that has killed more than 180

Peruvians will be faced with choosing the “lesser evil” between rightwing populist Keiko Fujimori and radical leftwing unionist Pedro Castillo when voting for their new president on Sunday. “For the majority of the population it’s more about the election of the lesser evil,” Peruvian political scientist Jessica Smith told AFP, adding that the vote pits “anti-Fujimorism” against “anti-communism.” It’s a choice between Fujimori’s neoliberalism and Castillo’s socialism; between the status quo and change.

LIMA, Peru (AP) — Peruvian voters will choose between two polarizing populist candidates Sunday in a presidential runoff held as the coronavirus pandemic continues to batter the Andean country and festering anger has led to fears of more political stability.

FILE - In this May 30, 2021 file photo, Keiko Fujimori, of the Popular Force party, left, and Free Peru party presidential candidate Pedro Castillo, wave to reporters at the end of a presidential debate, in Arequipa Peru. Voters will choose between two polarizing populist candidates Sunday, June 6, in a presidential runoff held as the coronavirus pandemic continues to batter the Andean country and festering anger has led to fears of more political stability.  (AP Photo/Martin Mejia, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this May 30, 2021 file photo, Keiko Fujimori, of the Popular Force party, left, and Free Peru party presidential candidate Pedro Castillo, wave to reporters at the end of a presidential debate, in Arequipa Peru. Voters will choose between two polarizing populist candidates Sunday, June 6, in a presidential runoff held as the coronavirus pandemic continues to batter the Andean country and festering anger has led to fears of more political stability.  (AP Photo/Martin Mejia, File)

Political novice Pedro Castillo and Keiko Fujimori, making her third run for the presidency, have both promised COVID-19 vaccines for all and other strategies to alleviate the health emergency that has killed more than 180,000 people and pushed millions into poverty. The election follows a statistical revision from Peru's government that more than doubled the death toll previously acknowledged by officials.

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It’s a choice between Fujimori’s neoliberalism and Castillo’s socialism; between the status quo and change. Fujimori draws her support from the capital Lima while Castillo is a bulwark of the rural deep interior. Battle lines were drawn between the two camps last Sunday, with Fujimori accusing There are, however, some social similarities between the two candidates. They’re both anti-abortion, defend traditional family values and have opposed gay rights. Worst mortality rate. Whoever wins the election will face the fallout of the pandemic, which has infected 1.9 million Peruvians and killed 180,000.

Peruvians will be faced with choosing the "lesser evil" between rightwing populist Keiko Fujimori and radical leftwing unionist Pedro Castillo when voting for their new president on Sunday. Scandal-tainted Fujimori, 46, has reached the second -round runoff for the third election in a row, and is running level with schoolteacher Castillo in the most recent opinion polls. However, 18 percent of voters remain undecided between the two polar opposite candidates. "For the majority of the population it's more about the election of the lesser evil," Peruvian political scientist Jessica Smith told AFP, adding that

FILE - In this April 16, 2021 file photo, Free Peru party presidential candidate Pedro Castillo poses for a photo on his property in Chugur, Peru. Castillo until recently was a rural schoolteacher in the country’s third-poorest district, deep in the Andes. The son of illiterate peasants entered politics by leading a teachers’ strike. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this April 16, 2021 file photo, Free Peru party presidential candidate Pedro Castillo poses for a photo on his property in Chugur, Peru. Castillo until recently was a rural schoolteacher in the country’s third-poorest district, deep in the Andes. The son of illiterate peasants entered politics by leading a teachers’ strike. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia, File)

The pandemic not only has collapsed Peru's medical and cemetery infrastructure, left millions unemployed and highlighted longstanding inequalities in the country, it has also deepened people’s mistrust of government as it mismanaged the COVID-19 response and a secret vaccination drive for the well-connected erupted into a national scandal.

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Peru 's presidential run-off on Sunday will be the Andean country's most polarised election in its recent history. The vote pits a left-wing teacher and populist political newcomer, Pedro Castillo, against a household name, right-winger Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of jailed ex-President Alberto Fujimori. Uncertainty has gripped this country ahead of what polls have predicted will be a very close race. Mr Castillo was the unexpected winner of the first round in April, which saw votes split among a wide field of candidates.

Amid protests and corruption allegations, the South American country cycled through three presidents in November. Now, analysts warn this election could be another tipping point for people’s simmering frustrations and bring more political instability.

“I think in both situations the risk of social unrest is high. It’s a time bomb,” said Claudia Navas, an analyst with the global firm Control Risks. “I think if Castillo wins, people who support Fujimori or support the continuation to some extent of the economic model may protest."

FILE - In this Dec. 24, 2017 file photo, Keiko Fujimori, daughter of former President Alberto Fujimori, waves to the press as she arrives to visit her jailed father, in Lima, Peru. Keiko Fujimori herself has been imprisoned as part of a graft investigation though she was later released. Her father governed between 1990 and 2000 and is serving a 25-year sentence for corruption and the killings of 25 people. She has promised to free him should she be elected as Peru's leader in the June 6, 2021 presidential run-off. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Dec. 24, 2017 file photo, Keiko Fujimori, daughter of former President Alberto Fujimori, waves to the press as she arrives to visit her jailed father, in Lima, Peru. Keiko Fujimori herself has been imprisoned as part of a graft investigation though she was later released. Her father governed between 1990 and 2000 and is serving a 25-year sentence for corruption and the killings of 25 people. She has promised to free him should she be elected as Peru's leader in the June 6, 2021 presidential run-off. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia, File)

But Navas said "a more complex scenario will evolve if Fujimori wins because Castillo has been able to create a discourse that has played well in some rural communities with regards to the social divide and saying that political and economic elites have orchestrated things to remain in power and maintain the social inequalities.”

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Peruvians will be faced with choosing the "lesser evil" between rightwing populist Keiko Fujimori and radical leftwing unionist Pedro Castillo when voting for their new president on Sunday. Scandal-tainted Fujimori, 46, has reached the second -round runoff for the third election in a row, and is running level with schoolteacher Castillo in the most recent opinion polls. However, 18 percent of voters remain undecided between the two polar opposite candidates. “For the majority of the population it’s more about the election of the lesser evil,” Peruvian political scientist Jessica Smith told AFP, adding that

The polarizing runoff election between rural teacher Pedro Castillo and Keiko Fujimori, making her third run for the presidency, comes on the heels of the Peruvian government’s admission that the death toll of the pandemic is at least 2 .5 times higher than previously acknowledged. While Castillo’s stance on nationalizing key sectors of the economy has softened, he remains committed to rewriting the constitution that was approved under the regime of Fujimori's father and his rivals have compared his leftist policies to those of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Supporters of Popular Force party presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori hold a photo of her father, former President Alberto Fujimori, at her closing campaign rally in Lima, Peru, Thursday, June 3, 2021. Her father governed between 1990 and 2000 and is serving a 25-year sentence for corruption and the killings of 25 people. She has promised to free him should she be elected as Peru's leader in the June 6, 2021 presidential run-off. (AP Photo) © Provided by Associated Press Supporters of Popular Force party presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori hold a photo of her father, former President Alberto Fujimori, at her closing campaign rally in Lima, Peru, Thursday, June 3, 2021. Her father governed between 1990 and 2000 and is serving a 25-year sentence for corruption and the killings of 25 people. She has promised to free him should she be elected as Peru's leader in the June 6, 2021 presidential run-off. (AP Photo)

Polls have shown the candidates virtually tied heading into Sunday’s runoff. In the first round of voting, featuring 18 candidates, neither received more than 20% support and both are strongly opposed by sectors of Peruvian society.

Fujimori, a conservative former congresswoman, has promised various bonuses to people, including a $2,500 one-time payment to each family with at least one COVID-19 victim. She has also proposed distributing 40% of a tax for the extraction of minerals, oil or gas among families who live near those areas.

Her supporters include the wealthy, several players of the national soccer team and Mario Vargas Llosa, Peru’s foremost author and the winner of a Nobel Prize in Literature. Vargas, who lost a presidential election three decades ago to the candidate’s father, Alberto Fujimori, has moved from calling her the “daughter of the dictator" in 2016 to considering her to be the representative of “freedom and progress.”

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Keiko Fujimori herself has been imprisoned as part of a graft investigation though she was later released. Her father governed between 1990 and 2000 and is serving a 25-year sentence for corruption and the killings of 25 people. She has promised to free him should she win.

Castillo until recently was a rural schoolteacher in the country’s third-poorest district, deep in the Andes. The son of illiterate peasants entered politics by leading a teachers’ strike. While his stance on nationalizing key sectors of the economy has softened, he remains committed to rewriting the constitution that was approved under the regime of Fujimori’s father.

Among Castillo’s supporters are former Bolivia President Evo Morales and former Uruguay President José Mujica, who in a conversation via Facebook told Castillo on Thursday to “not fall into authoritarianism.”

Popular Force party presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori waves from the back of a moto-taxi during a campaign rally in the Puente Piedra neighborhood, on the outskirts of Lima, Peru, Tuesday, June 1, 2021. Fujimori, one of Peru's most established political figures and the daughter of former president Alberto Fujimori, faces rival candidate Pedro Castillo in the June 6 presidential run-off election. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia) © Provided by Associated Press Popular Force party presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori waves from the back of a moto-taxi during a campaign rally in the Puente Piedra neighborhood, on the outskirts of Lima, Peru, Tuesday, June 1, 2021. Fujimori, one of Peru's most established political figures and the daughter of former president Alberto Fujimori, faces rival candidate Pedro Castillo in the June 6 presidential run-off election. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

Peru is the second largest copper exporter in the world and mining accounts for almost 10% of its GDP and 60% of its exports, so Castillo’s initial proposal to nationalize the nation’s mining industry set off alarm bells among business leaders. But regardless of who gets picked to succeed President Francisco Sagasti on July 28, investors will remain skittish.

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Free Peru party presidential candidate Pedro Castillo holds up a a balloon pencil, his party's symbol, during his closing campaign rally, in Lima, Peru, Thursday, June 3, 2021. The former rural school teacher will face rival candidate Keiko Fujimori in the June 6th run-off election. (AP Photo/Guadalupe Pardo) © Provided by Associated Press Free Peru party presidential candidate Pedro Castillo holds up a a balloon pencil, his party's symbol, during his closing campaign rally, in Lima, Peru, Thursday, June 3, 2021. The former rural school teacher will face rival candidate Keiko Fujimori in the June 6th run-off election. (AP Photo/Guadalupe Pardo)

“A victory for left-wing populist Pedro Castillo in Peru’s presidential election on Sunday would probably send local financial markets into a tailspin, but we doubt that investors would have much to cheer about even if his rival Keiko Fujimori wins,” Nikhil Sanghani, emerging markets economist with Capital Economics, wrote in an investors note Friday.

FILE - In this March 24, 2021 file photo, Popular Force party presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori, daughter of imprisoned ex-President Alberto Fujimori, acknowledges supporters in a campaign rally in the Los Olivos community, on the outskirts of Lima, Peru.  Fujimori, a conservative former congresswoman, has promised various bonuses to people, including a $2,500 one-time payment to each family with at least one COVID-19 victim. She has also proposed distributing 40% of a tax for the extraction of minerals, oil or gas among families who live near those areas. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this March 24, 2021 file photo, Popular Force party presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori, daughter of imprisoned ex-President Alberto Fujimori, acknowledges supporters in a campaign rally in the Los Olivos community, on the outskirts of Lima, Peru. Fujimori, a conservative former congresswoman, has promised various bonuses to people, including a $2,500 one-time payment to each family with at least one COVID-19 victim. She has also proposed distributing 40% of a tax for the extraction of minerals, oil or gas among families who live near those areas. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia, File)

“Fujimori is a controversial figure who is under investigation for corruption charges. Given Peru’s recent history, it’s not hard to imagine that this could spark impeachment proceedings," he said.

Peru's presidential runoff election too close to call

  Peru's presidential runoff election too close to call With 94% of ballots tallied, leftist Pedro Castillo had 50.07% of the vote; conservative Keiko Fujimori had 49.92%, according to official results. This is Fujimori’s third run for president, a role her father held in the 1990s. The figures released by Peru’s elections agency, the National Office of Electoral Processes, included almost all votes cast near the country’s electoral processing centers. The agency was still waiting for the arrival of votes from remote rural areas and abroad.Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

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Garcia Cano reported from Mexico City.

FILE - In this May 1, 2021 file photo, presidential candidates, Keiko Fujimori of the Popular Force party, and Pedro Castillo of the Free Peru party, fist bump at the end of a presidential debate, in Chota, Peru. Polls have shown the candidates virtually tied heading into Sunday's June 6th presidential runoff. (AP Photo/Francisco Vigo, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this May 1, 2021 file photo, presidential candidates, Keiko Fujimori of the Popular Force party, and Pedro Castillo of the Free Peru party, fist bump at the end of a presidential debate, in Chota, Peru. Polls have shown the candidates virtually tied heading into Sunday's June 6th presidential runoff. (AP Photo/Francisco Vigo, File) FILE - In this May 26, 2021 file photo, Free Peru party presidential candidate Pedro Castillo speaks at a campaign rally in the Villa El Salvador neighborhood of Lima, Peru. Castillo until recently was a rural schoolteacher in the country’s third-poorest district, deep in the Andes. The son of illiterate peasants entered politics by leading a teachers’ strike. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia, File): FILE - In this May 30, 2021 file photo, Keiko Fujimori, of the Popular Force party, left, and Free Peru party presidential candidate Pedro Castillo, wave to reporters at the end of a presidential debate, in Arequipa Peru. Voters will choose between two polarizing populist candidates Sunday, June 6, in a presidential runoff held as the coronavirus pandemic continues to batter the Andean country and festering anger has led to fears of more political stability.  (AP Photo/Martin Mejia, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this May 30, 2021 file photo, Keiko Fujimori, of the Popular Force party, left, and Free Peru party presidential candidate Pedro Castillo, wave to reporters at the end of a presidential debate, in Arequipa Peru. Voters will choose between two polarizing populist candidates Sunday, June 6, in a presidential runoff held as the coronavirus pandemic continues to batter the Andean country and festering anger has led to fears of more political stability.  (AP Photo/Martin Mejia, File)

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