Peru renews its Executive and Legislative powers after years of political turmoil that have seen a number of presidents, and even the entire Congress, toppled in scandals involving corruption charges. With 35 million inhabitants and the South American country with the most deaths from COVID-19 per 100 people, Peru celebrates legislative and presidential elections. Voting is an obligation and being absent from the electoral call is punishable by fines. Twenty-five million voters, in an electoral roll of almost as many men as women, they choose between 19 parties who will occupy the 130 seats of their unicameral Congress and between 18 presidential and vice-presidential candidacies, who will go to the second round on June 6. If something seems safe, according to all pollsis that there will be a second presidential round, because there are neither coalitions nor favorite party or personal candidates.
Five or six formulas for president and vice-presidents are tied at the threshold of 10% of preferences, according to two polls published on Thursday. Nobody doubts that there will be a second round. There is also no doubt that the results of the legislative election, which are decided on Sunday without further ado, will transfer the fragmentation of the electoral offer to the interior of Congress. There will be no majorities and in the new Congress there will be more forces represented than in the current Congress, which ends in July.RELATED
The candidacy that occupies the first place in intention to vote barely exceeds 10% support. According to the latest polls, six candidates have at least a minimal chance: Yonhy Lescano (Popular Action, left); Hernando de Soto (Avanza País, liberal right); Verónika Mendoza (Together for Peru, center left); George Forsyth (National Victory, center right); Keiko Fujimori (Popular Force, energetic Fujimori authoritarian right) and Rafael López Aliaga (Popular Renovation, conservative right).
Citizens go to the polls after the political chaos last November with the removal of Martín Vizcarra for alleged corruption left the country to go through three presidents in the same week. His successor, Manuel Merino, was forced to resign a few days later amid accusations of forming a plot to overthrow Vizcarra and numerous protests. Since then, the nation has been led by the interim president, Francisco Sagasti (of the Morado Party, center-left), while Peru fights against the new coronavirus that hits it hard.
Beyond the electorate’s indifference to voting, based on predictable low turnout rates, the protracted public health crisis has exposed long-standing inequities. Perception towards the political class worsened even more recently when a list, which included former President Martín Vizcarra, revealed that hundreds of wealthy people and well-connected with public officials secretly received the Covid-19 vaccines, over and above the populations of risk or more vulnerable to the virus, such as health workers on the front line against the pandemic.