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PERU
Uncertainties ahead of vote
6/2/2011
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Polarizing candidates tied, according to last polls.

Former army officer Ollanta Humala and lawmaker Keiko Fujimori, two highly polarizing candidates, are running neck-and-neck ahead of Peru’s presidential runoff on June 5.

Three polls published May 29, the last date for surveys to be released under electoral law, show Humala and Fujimori with between 1 percent and 0.5 percent between them.

After winning the first round of voting on April 10 with close to 32 percent support, Humala was expected to top Fujimori, who had 23.5 percent.

Daughter of former President Alberto Fujimori, who governed from 1990-2000, and is currently serving a 25-year prison term for his role in two massacres in the early 1990s, kidnapping and corruption, Keiko Fujimori has the greatest concentration of support among Peru’s wealthy and business sector, mainly in the capital, home to one-third of the electorate, for her promise to continue the current free market economic model.

The majority of Peruvian media outlets have unabashedly thrown their support behind Fujimori, launching their own fear campaign to dissuade voters from supporting Humala.

It was fear of ties to Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and concerns that he would nationalize key sectors of the economy that cost Humala the 2006 election as well. Then, he also won the first round of voting but lost to current President Alan García. Humala’s platform is mainly aimed at Peru’s poor, rural sector.

Undecided votes will make this election, with some 13 percent of the electorate still unsure for which candidate — if any — they will vote.
—Latinamerica Press.


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