Fear of a Tri­umph by Keiko Fuji­mori, the Key to Peru’s Elec­tions

La Semana - - FRONT PAGE / PORTADA -

ENGLISH

Thou­sands of Peru­vians took to the streets of Lima and other cities to protest the likely tri­umph in the Sun­day Jun. 5 runoff elec­tion of Keiko Fuji­mori, the daugh­ter of for­mer pres­i­dent Al­berto Fuji­mori, who is serv­ing a 25year sen­tence for cor­rup­tion and crimes against hu­man­ity.

If Keiko Fuji­mori wins, as in­di­cated by the polls, it will be the fourth time a Fuji­mori is elected pres­i­dent.

Al­berto Fuji­mori (1990-2000) spent two full terms in of­fice and his third term was cut short (he served less than one year) due to a cor­rup­tion scan­dal re­volv­ing around his se­cu­rity chief Vladimiro Mon­tesinos. His ad­min­is­tra­tion was marked by hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions and a self-coup in which he dis­solved Con­gress, sus­pended civil lib­er­ties and es­tab­lished govern­ment by de­cree.

On May 31 and two pre­vi­ous occa- sions, enor­mous crowds of demon­stra­tors took to the streets in Lima and other ma­jor cities to protest the can­di­dacy of Keiko Fuji­mori, in protests sim­i­lar to those she faced as first lady – a po­si­tion she held in­for­mally af­ter her par­ents di­vorced – dur­ing the cam­paign in which her father was re­elected to a third term, in 2000.

Keiko Fuji­mori, 41, is fac­ing off with banker Pedro Pablo Kuczyn­ski, 77, who served as prime min­is­ter and econ­omy min­is­ter in the govern­ment of Ale­jan­dro Toledo (2001-2006). They are both run­ning for pres­i­dent for a sec­ond time: in 2011 she came in sec­ond and he came in third in the elec­tions won by Ol­lanta Humala.

In the last two opin­ion polls, Fuji­mori was slightly ahead of Kuczyn­ski, which could change due to the grow­ing de­nun­ci­a­tions of cor­rup­tion and other ir­regu- lar­i­ties against the can­di­date for the right-wing Fuerza Pop­u­lar, which groups the sup­port­ers of 77-year-old Al­berto Fuji­mori, who has been in a cell in a na­tional po­lice sta­tion on the east side of Lima since 2007.

Since last year, Keiko Fuji­mori has been seek­ing to pro­ject an im­age of her­self as hav­ing noth­ing to do with the authoritarian prac­tices of her father, in a strat­egy that has in­cluded pop­ulist prom­ises aimed at neu­tral­is­ing the an­tiFu­ji­morista vote that led to her de­feat in 2011.

But dur­ing the cam­paign that got un­der­way in Jan­uary, the can­di­date has faced a grow­ing num­ber of ac­cu­sa­tions of shady fi­nanc­ing, ma­nip­u­la­tion of the me­dia, false claims about her po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents, and other prac­tices that put peo­ple in mind of the way her father did things. (IPS)

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