July 28, 2021 was supposed to be a party. The celebration of 200 years of independence of the guardianship of the Spanish crown and that of the advent of the Peruvian Republic. And, the same day, the investiture of the new president resulting from the second round of the June 6 election. However, on the eve of the Bicentenary, Peru does not find much reason to rejoice, caught in a health, economic and political crisis. A month after the second round, the country still does not have an officially elected president.
The radical left candidate, Pedro Castillo, won the election, about 44,000 votes ahead of his populist right wing opponent, Keiko Fujimori. But the proclamation of the winner is delayed by the maneuvers of the Fujimorist camp determined to contest the results, crying fraud without the slightest proof.
No proven fraud
Mme Fujimori, who faces trial and possibly jail for money laundering as part of an investigation into the illicit financing of his 2011 and 2016 election campaigns, has mobilized all his networks to try to derail the elections. The Peruvian candidate sent an avalanche of requests to cancel polling stations, for “Falsification of signatures” alleged, involving tens of thousands of ballots. Requests currently being studied by the National Elections Committee (JNE) which, so far, has not reported any proven fraud.
The observation mission of the Organization of American States, the United States and the European Union, for their part, considered that the vote in Peru had been free and transparent. They have repeatedly defended the work of electoral bodies.
“There was initially the idea of delaying the proclamation of the winner as much as possible and arriving on July 28 without a president, so that new elections could be called. A strategy that no longer seems to be able to succeed [à mesure que le JNE rejette les demandes d’invalidation des bulletins], believes political science researcher Arthur Morenas, from the University of Strasbourg. Today, this speech is more of a strategy for the future. The day justice knocks on its door, Keiko Fujimori will put himself in a position of victimization ”, swearing to have been cheated by the election.
The strategy of the Fujimorist camp also includes intimidation of members of the JNE responsible for analyzing the demands to contest the bulletins – or calls for insurrection, such as those of retired ex-soldiers. But what deeply shocked Peruvians was the attempted corruption of JNE members, orchestrated by a sinister figure in Peruvian history who had been somewhat forgotten: Vladimiro Montesinos, head of the intelligence service of Keiko’s father, the ex-president Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000).
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