SAO PAULO – Peru’s new president, Left-wing teacher Point Pedro Castillo, Who will begin his term next Wednesday, July 28, in a political crisis triggered by the persuasion of right-wing Keiko Fujimori, who is already second in the election, did not accept the outcome of the vote count. According to experts, the situation in the country is a warning to the continent, because it will be an inspiration to question the clean electoral process when other leaders are defeated.
In the second round on June 6, Castillo won by a margin of 44,000 votes, the result of which was already clear in the week following the election. However, Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of former Peruvian dictator Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000), is said to have cheated in the results. Without filing evidence, he filed more than 270 petitions in the Peruvian Electoral Court to annul his opponent’s vote.
According to Moises Marx, a scientist at the School of Sociology and Politics (Facebook) in Sao Paulo, Keiko follows a script similar to that of former US President Donald Trump, which creates a kind of regional political risk.
– Two dangerous forms are emerging in Latin America. The first belonged to more polarized communities. Second, the candidate appearing in the election uses the tactic of claiming fraud. The Peruvian case is not the first time this has happened, but it marks the beginning of a potentially dangerous form in Latin America – he insists.
According to Marx, this behavior undermines trust in institutions and endangers democracy.
– Democracy should be a game accepted by all who participate in elections. A defeated candidate with a share of the population against the political system, the courts and institutions is a serious problem and a model, as Trump and Keiko did and threatened to do what Bolzano did – he says.
The analyst says this behavior is not just for right-wing candidates, the current Mexican president, left-wing Andres Manuel Lபpez Obrador, has questioned when he defeated the results of presidential elections in the past.
In Ecuador, this year, left-wing indigenous leader Yahu Perez, who finished third in the presidential race, filed charges of fraud without providing evidence after he lost his place in the second round, to banker Guillermo Lasso, who he ended.
Even in the Organization of American States (OAS), Keiko’s strategy of questioning election results has been relatively successful, says Oliver Stuenkel, a professor at FGV. It did not cancel the election, but it did cast doubt on Castillo’s legitimacy over a significant portion of the Peruvian population.
– What is happening in Peru is a reflection of the fact that in Latin America, today, there is not an ethical environment that forces political leaders to respect the rules of the game. There is no need to fear revenge in the Keiko region, he acts because of impunity. This will be an inspiration to the leaders of other countries, he says.
Internationally, Stuyenkel says the successful erosion of democratic regimes is a tendency to encourage other countries to follow suit.
– We can observe this in recent events in El Salvador, Nicaragua and Venezuela. We do not have a multilateral organization that is considered legal by most countries [que possa mediar e atenuar as crises]. OAS has lost relevance, and Unasur (Union of South American States) is not in practice – he says.
In Peru, Stuenkel points out that Castillo’s biggest challenge will be to end his tenure, which is already starting to weaken. The candidate – who adopted a leftist speech in the campaign, praised the Bolivarian model of Bolivia and Venezuela and proposed a new constitution for the country – has been seeking dialogue with the center and center-left parties in recent weeks.
The new president’s party, the Free Peru Congress, has the largest bench, but not the majority, controlling 37 of the 130 seats. Including allies, the ruling party reaches 45 MPs.
Keiko – who is already in custody on charges of receiving illegal donations from Brazilian Odebrecht – faces further legal issues. The candidate vowed to concede defeat during the campaign, but knows that losing the third presidential election in a row will reveal more in the process he faces in court.
Risk of decay
According to historian Alberto Aguirre, a UNESCO professor, the possibility of disintegration of democracy in Peru has not been ruled out.
– During the campaign, there was an extreme right-wing campaign for the military to act against Castillo’s victory. It has to be on the scene, and it’s dangerous. Castillo is entering a weak situation, the left must moderate radical discourse and try to form alliances in a fragmented political environment, he insists.
Despite releasing a note praising the electoral process in Peru, Aggio says US diplomacy under Joe Biden has not yet given clear signals of what its position will be in Latin America.
– When the military rule on the continent ended, the electoral solution was questionable and there was no criticism of the elections. Today, there is a global reaction, mainly from the far right, in the sense of representing representative democracy, including Latin America – he insists.
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