The split is complete when Peru elects its fifth president in less than four years. Very conservative as a socialist – none of the main candidates is particularly popular. But disdain for politicians can give way to rulebreakers in Parliament.
Yunhei Lescano, the presidential candidate for the ACCion People’s Party, during his campaign visit to a suburb of Lima, Peru, on March 29.
Conditions are tough as Peru tries to find a foothold after several years of political turmoil. There has been a real crisis since Congress impeached President Martin Vizcarra – notorious for his actions against corruption but also accused of wrongdoing – by Congress in November.
The decision was met with widespread and deadly protests that forced his successor, Manuel Merino, to resign after just five days.
Since then, interim president Francisco Sagasti has tried to direct clearer waters. But confidence in the political elite runs deep in a country where a whole host of former presidents have been ousted or investigated for corruption.
Amid all this, society is suffering from a powerful second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic that has painfully exposed the country’s economic divisions and unequal access to care. The revelation that senior politicians had taken command of the vaccine waiting list sparked outrage against those in power.
In polls during the election campaign, nearly every third voter stated that they had yet to decide how to vote in Sunday’s election.
All five presidential candidates – out of a total of 18 – running ahead in the vote had to settle for about 10% of support in the polls.
Three of them are found on the right edge, where the split is greater than ever. Attention has been drawn to the hard-line conservative businessman Rafael Lopez Aliaga, who has been compared to the controversial Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. The 60-year-old, a member of the Catholic movement Opus Dei and claims to have lived in celibacy for 40 years, seems to have slipped slightly during the last race.
It is expected that he will benefit the liberal economist Hernando de Soto or his conservative rival Keiko Fujimori, daughter of former authoritarian president Alberto Fujimori.
On the left is 40-year-old former Congresswoman and socialist Veronica Mendoza, who has promised a series of social reforms.
More center-right voters who think Mendoza is too radical would rather look at Yunhee Lescano. With a mixture of progressive economic policy and social conservatism messages – which critics have termed populism – he was slightly ahead of others in the polls.
As neither of the candidates is expected to win more than 50 percent, the first and second candidates are expected to contest a second and decisive election round in June.
But Sunday also means parliamentary elections in the country. Of the 2,572 people vying for 130 congressional seats, there are many unconventional candidates.
One of these is Angela Fillon, a former prostitute who works to promote the protection and rights of sex workers.
We are victims of a lot of cruelty. “We are raping, kidnapping and killing,” she told France Press.
Another politician who can contribute to increasing diversity in the male-dominated legislature is the 28-year-old Gahila Carey, who aims to be the first trans woman to be elected to Congress.
Peru has a population of just over 32.5 million (2019). The capital is called Lima.
The state is a republic. General elections are held every five years.
The country’s economy has always been relatively strong, but poverty is rife. Large export earnings from the large-scale mining industry and intensive fishing, among other things, have benefited a small portion of society, while mountain and urban slum dwellers often live in self-sufficiency and support themselves in the large informal sector. section.
Peru’s history is brutal, even in the near future. Fighting between Maoist rebels Sendero Luminoso and the army claimed nearly 70,000 lives in the 1980s and 1990s.
Former President Alberto Fujimori is serving a 25-year prison sentence for corruption and human rights violations, following his authoritarian rule in the 1990s.
Sources: UI / Landguiden, Sweden Abroad.