Peruans on Sunday elect one of eighteen candidates to elect their president, none of whom are favorites, in the midst of a second wave of Kovid-19s that are causing records of contamination and deaths.
According to the latest surveys, none of the 18 candidates will collect more than 10% of the votes in the first round. Thus there is a possibility of qualifying for the second round to be held on June 6.
“These are the most fragmented elections in history, we have never seen so many candidates with probability” analyzes Alfredo Torres, director of the Ipsos Polling Institute, being in the second round.
Since 2016, the number of undeclared people in a country with four presidents and repeated corruption scandals has reached some 28%.
Former center-right MP Yonni Lescono, leftist anthropologist Veronica Mendoza and liberal economist Hernando de Soto are in the top three in the latest Ipsos poll.
But former footballer George Forsythe (center-right), businessman Rafael Lopez Aliga (far-right), teacher Pedro Castillo (left) or Keiko Fujimori (populist right) may remain in the race.
“This is the worst possible scenario for Sunday: fragmentation and polarization,” political scientist Carlos Melandez told AFP.
In addition to their Speaker, 25 million voters will elect 130 duties of Parliament at the core of many institutional crises in recent years. In November 2020 the country became the most recent in a week by three presidents.
Dismissed by Parliament for “moral incompetence” based on alleged bribery allegations, popular President Martin Vizcarra was replaced by opposition MP Manuel Merino, Speaker of Parliament.
He was forced to resign five days later under pressure from the street and was released by the political class for suppression of demonstrations, later replaced by Deputy Francisco Francisco Sagasti.
Mr Vizcarra transformed himself in 2018, with his predecessor Pedro Pablo Kuczynski resigned on the eve of a possible parliamentary vote to remove him, elected two years ago.
– Contaminated candidates –
The campaign ended with final meetings on Thursday in which several hundred supporters gathered despite the risks associated with the epidemic. Six out of 18 candidates have contracted Kovid-19 during this campaign. The latest Marco Arana (left) had to halt his activities and would not be able to vote on Sunday, his party announced on Saturday.
Yohny Lescano said he was “delighted to travel across Peru”. Keiko, the daughter of former President Alberto Fujimori (1990–2000), insisted, “The important thing is that it is difficult to go to the polls and choose.”
“I ask a man of youth, workers, reservoirs, farmers, people to trust me,” Mr. Castillo said.
Voting in Peru is mandatory under the penalty. The National Electoral Office (ONPE) predicts that “nine out of ten Peru” will go to the polls despite alarming figures of the Kovid-19 epidemic, which has already killed more than 54,000.
The country of 33 million people has experienced the deadliest week in the 13 months of the epidemic, with a record 384 deaths on Saturday, with the vaccination campaign slowly advancing.
Former President Vizkara proposed a postponement of the election on May 23 in January, but the proposal received no support and interim President Francisco Sagasti said that voting would not be postponed “under any circumstances”.
However, the number of polling stations has been multiplied by three to avoid congestion and they will be open 12 hours, 7 am (12 pm GMT), four hours more than usual. Every voter will have to go there at the predetermined time according to the last digit of their identity card.
The Peruvian economy narrowed to 11.12% in 2020 due to the epidemic, after growing for years longer than the Latin American average. Today, one-third of residents live in poverty.
Partial results must be known around 11:30 am local (04:30 GMT Monday) before the presidential election. The official results of legislative elections will take several days.
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