Yesterday’s presidential elections in Peru were certainly one of the most unpredictable and closest of the last years. Former leftist military Ollanta Humala won –as he had five years ago- the first ballot with 31.1% of votes according to extra-official results. Keiko Fujimori, former president Alberto Fujimori’s daughter, came second with 23.2% of votes and will dispute the presidency on 5th June’s second ballot.
Former finance minister and millionaire Pedro Pablo Kuczynski came third with 18.9% of votes, while former president and candidate Alejandro Toledo reached fourth place with 15-16% of votes in spite of having lead polls before the elections.
These results were not well received by Literature Nobel Mario Vargas LLosa, who insisted on Peruvians voting for Toledo as a means of preventing a second ballot between Humala and Fujimori. Vargas Llosa stated that choosing between both candidates is “like having to decide between cancer and AIDs”.
“I’m open to everyone” stated Humala in a conciliatory yet exultant tone. “Today we celebrate Perú’s transformation”, said the candidate while he called “every political, social and labour forces” to dialogue. “We must work towards consensus and towards the country’s unity so that these elections do not separate us but, instead, reunite us”, and he added “we cannot rest until June”.
Fujimori, equally loved as hated amongst Peruvians, thanked her father, Alberto Fujimori, for accompanying her in “this wonderful campaign”. Keiko Fujimori promised not to “duel in the past” while fujimorists chanted “¡Chino, the people is with you!” in open support to her father. Alberto Fujimori was sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment for crimes against humanity.
Peru’s second ballot for presidency raises more questions and uncertainty on both sides. As far as Humala is concerned, he has a past of systematic ideological contradictions. Back in 2000 he led a coup against Fujimori and tried to overthrow former president Toledo in 2005. Humala has an incarcerated brother, Antauro, who also lead a coup; only this time, four people were killed. Humala was a staunch advocate of Venezuelan president Chávez’ Bolivarian revolution in 2006 while having chosen Lula’s Brazil as a role model.
On the other side, Keiko Fujimori carries her father’s political heritance, plagued with opponents’ harassment, massacres, corruption and lack of freedom of speech. The fujimorist candidate is not new in the political arena, but the extension of Alberto Fujimori’s populist project.
Yesterday, Peruvians also elected the 130 members of Congress. Humala’s party got the majority of seats – 41 according to preliminary data-; however, they do not represent absolute majority and will have to ally with other factions in order to rule and prioritize their measures –such as the reform of the Constitution and renegotiation of international treaties.