The election results.

It took almost 5 days for the Peruvian National Electoral Board to declare Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, 77 years old former World Bank Economist, the new President of Peru, with a mere 40.000 votes (50,1%) more than his opponents Keiko Fujimori (49,9 %). Both centre-right oriented, the candidates had run on similar platforms, both emphasizing the need for a more fair country and for a continuous boosting of the national economy.

The electoral campaign: a déjà vu from 2011

During most of the campaign Kuczynski has been the runner-up, while Fujimori was steadily leading the elections, which she seemed to have almost secured thanks to the 40% of votes obtained in the first turn. However, in a déjà vu from 2011 election, the final round put a halt to her bid for the presidency; while the allegations of corruption toward some of her aides have certainly played a role in her defeat, an ever bigger impact has been played by the legacy of her father, former President Alberto Fujimori.

Alberto Fujimori's controversial legacy

Even though Keiko Fujimori tried to distance herself from her father's political positions, she failed in presenting her candidature as fully separate from Mr. Fujimori controversial policies, also due to the constant parallelisms among them raised by Mr.Kuczynski and his entourage. Alberto Fujimori, who is currently serving a 25 years sentence for corruption and violation of human rights, governed the country for three mandates, spanning from 1990 until 2000. During these years, he introduced severe limitations to civil rights but also managed to stop the guerrilla group Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path); while many are still grateful for the ensuing peace, the methods used to defeat the left-oriented group are what still troubles many Peruvians. Tortures, homicides, kidnapping were all part of the tactics used by A. Fujimori’s army and eventually the reason for his imprisonment in 2005, few weeks after he announced his intention to run for another mandate.

A referendum on Fujimorism

Alberto Fujimori’s memories were evoked so much during the weeks preceding the final vote that many perceived the second round as a referendum on Fujimorismo rather than a Presidential election.And in the aftermath of the proclamation of Mr.Kuczynski as the new president, it seemed that Peru had decided to get over the Fujimori's legacy. But while Fujimorism has been defeated, it is not dead.

Why Peru is not over Fujimori

First of all, because Keiko Fujimori still has the support of a large part of the society, especially in the rural areas and among those that benefit from Alberto Fujimori's iron fist against Sendero Luminoso in the '90. Secondly, because Keiko's party has a solid majority in the Parliament, where it triumphed few months before the presidential elections, and thus the chance to deeply influence or veto Kuczynski's political decisions.

Finally, the fact that a Presidential election turned into a referendum on Fujimorism, won by its opponents thanks to a handful of votes only, is the most important piece of evidence that Alberto Fujimori's controversial regime might be gone but has yet to be completely forgotten.  #News #World Politics #Foreign Affairs