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