As Peru approaches the presidency of Castillo, uncertainty persists in election news

Lima, Peru- With the highest coverage in the world Coronavirus deaths Per capita and the third wave are expected to start sweeping the country later this month, and Peru’s COVID-19 vaccination plan is hardly more important than this.

As the outgoing interim president Francisco Sagasti’s vaccination work accelerates, the government recommends that the incoming President Pedro Castillo continue to be supervised by officials from the Ministry of Health. Avoid any interference.

Camille Webb, an infectious disease expert at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute of Tropical Medicine in Lima, said: “This will bring a lot of peace.” “This will be the most cautious thing, and the smartest politically. thing.”

However, there are still less than two weeks before his inauguration on July 28, and The first round of Peru’s presidential election, Castillo’s vaccination strategy is still a mystery-his policy is the same in almost every other aspect from economics to education.

Surprise victory

The 51-year-old left-wing rural teacher’s amazing victory seemed to surprise him as much as people in other parts of Peru.

Since he had no public office experience and no policy adviser before the beginning of this month, Castillo has made limited public comments since. Runoff on June 6, But squeezed into a private conversation with his Liberal Peruvian Party members.

During the campaign, Castillo made a series of policy commitments that disturbed big investors and ordinary Peruvians, including nationalizing Peru’s huge mining industry and banning imports, but he now seems to have given up.

He continued to push for a referendum to establish a constitutional assembly, but he believes that Peru’s current constitution was passed in 1993 with the approval of the far-right and fierce free market president Alberto Fujimori, who is now violating human rights. And go to jail. The country’s ability to provide public services such as health care and education.

However, Castillo has not yet clearly stated which specific policies the current Magna Carta prevents.

“You don’t know what Castillo will do because he doesn’t know,” said Pablo Secada, an economist and a prominent member of the center-right political party, the Popular Christian Party (PPC). “Uncertainty is very destructive.”

On June 26, in Lima, a supporter wore a shirt with the image of the Peruvian right-wing presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori and said “Always be with you.” [File: Gerardo Marin/Reuters]

‘An unknown’

Although Castillo remained largely silent, apart from the vague promise that he would provide all Peruvians with free COVID-19 jabs, he did not explain how, members of Free Peru and other Castillo allies have been Fight for how far his government should go.

The debate was led by the party’s founder, Vladimir Cerron, a former Marxist regional governor who was banned from public office due to corruption convictions and had xenophobic, misogynistic and homophobic Comment record. He is pushing Castillo to maintain the aggressive posture he maintained during the campaign.

Although the incoming 130-member single-house Congress will be divided into 10 parties, but may be controlled by right-wing opposition groups, Seren’s pressure still exists. These include the Fujimori Party, which has 24 lawmakers, and the “Popular Revival”, another ultra-conservative group with 13 lawmakers. Its leaders even called for Castillo to “death.”

This will give Castillo almost no room for maneuver.He might even face a quick impeachment like that one President Martin Vizcarra November 2020.

“Even after being elected, Castillo remains an unknown,” said Gonzalo Banda, a political scientist at Peru’s Catholic University of Santa Marta. “A few weeks ago, it looks like he is easing. Now he will see Cerron again. Who will it be? [in] His cabinet? No announcements, no press conferences. All this is still a mystery. “

Supporters of Castillo gather behind a police roadblock outside the national election jury in Lima, Peru, June 11 [File: Angela Ponce/Reuters]

Fraud claims

This left a dangerous vacuum. Castillo’s final opponent, Alberto Fujimori’s daughter Keiko Fujimori, has been filling this vacuum. Unsubstantiated allegations of election fraud.

According to Peru’s electoral agencies ONPE and Castillo Win the polarizing final by 44,000 votes Among the nearly 19 million actors, Fujimori accounts for 50.13%, while Fujimori accounts for 49.87%.

The Organization of American States, the European Union and the US State Department consider the election to be free and fair, but the 46-year-old Fujimori faces a corruption trial and may be sentenced to long-term imprisonment—unless she is granted presidential immunity—refusing to recognize it.

Her lawyer tried to cancel 200,000 ballots, mainly from indigenous and mixed-race voters in poor communities in the Andes and Amazon regions, who strongly supported Castillo. Although the independent expert agrees that her claims are baseless, the time-consuming appeal process has so far prevented the election authorities from declaring Castillo’s victory.

Her false propaganda campaign persuaded quite a few Peruvians, especially the Lima elite, who was frightened by Castillo’s radical information, that once he took office, he would not become a legitimate president.

There are even retired military officers calling for the rejection of Castillo as president, including a former admiral who likes to be the upcoming speaker of Congress.

‘Not a good sign’

At the same time, a small hardcore group of Fujimori supporters who claim to be the resistance movement is launching a fierce and frequent violent campaign against the imminent announcement of Castillo as the winner of the runoff.

This week, they tried to rush into the presidential residence in the center of Lima, attacked journalists and passers-by, smashed local shops, and stoned two ministerial vehicles, one of which contained Health Minister Oscar Ugarte (Oscar Ugarte). ).

Banda estimates that the Resistance has only 500 members. Nonetheless, he said that the failure of police and prosecutors to deal with them in recent weeks has set a worrying precedent for more violence that may occur after Castillo takes office.

“Keiko can no longer control these people,” Banda told Al Jazeera. “This is a more extreme right. They have this feeling of impunity. They are used to not bearing the consequences. This does not bode well for the next five years.”


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