As the final electoral round on June 5 looms in Peru, neoliberal presidential hopefuls, Keiko Fujimori and Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, have been engaged in an exchange of attacks and shunts in bids to get ahead in opinion polls.
A GFK company poll revealed an almost perfect tie, with a 50.1 rate of support for the international businessman and political scientist and 49.9 for the daughter of former president Alberto Fujimori, currently serving a prison term for crimes against humanity and corruption committed during the reign of his 1990-2000 government.
A number of analysts sustain that, in spite of the draw, a rejection by broad sectors of the so-called rebirth of what they call the Fujimorista dictatorship after years of populist and paternalistic proselytizing, means that Kuczynski is the favorite to win.
Following the first round on April 10 and without any form of agreement whatsoever, this voter rejection translated into a swing towards Kuczynski who has almost doubled his share of the vote and closed the lead that Fujimori had initially.
This has resulted in an increased focus on commitments to always put democracy first in the face of the risk of authoritarianism and to seek some counterbalance for the executive against the outright parliamentary majority won by the contender on April 10.
For her part, Keiko Fujimori, remains adamant that she will respect democracy and would, for example, refrain from favoring her imprisoned father with a pardon and not, as is prohibited by law, seek re-election. However, her younger brother Kenji’s ambitions in this regard give rise to fears about the possibility of a dynasty regime.
The candidate has a held a series of what might be considered as corporate styled meetings with pockets of voters such as evangelical groups, labor organizations, casual miners and others at which she has even issued written commitments to attend to their diverse demands.
Kuczynski has formed an association with the Alliance for Progress party, which holds considerable sway in the northern and coastal regions of Peru which Fujimori won convincingly in the first round.
The two finalists are not only on a level playing field in the polls, but also in their adherence to the neoliberalism established over a decade ago by the hard-line Fujimori presidency, policies that Kuczynski embraced in 2011 when he supported Keiko in the second round of elections which was won by current president, Ollanta Humala.
There are many who believe that differences between the candidates are only secondary in nature, such as the age difference for example; she is 40 years old and he is 77 years old and that the similarities have resulted in the progressive Frente Amplia refusing to support either, even though their own former candidate Verónika Mendoza has said that the worst thing that could happen to Peru is a return to Fujimorism.
On International Workers’ Day (May 1) the General Confederation of Workers (CGTP in Spanish) warned that a neoliberal offensive was sure to lead to tough times ahead, but that the trade union movement was well prepared to resist.Share on FB Share on TT