The second round [es] of presidential elections in Peru reaches its final leg in the midst of unresolved social conflict and the polarization [es] of an electorate so large that it has generated not only public statements but also citizen mobilization, through the collection of signatures and public demonstrations against each of the candidates, the conservative Keiko Fujimori [Fuerza 2011] and the nationalist Ollanta Humala [Gana Perú].
The issue that has been heating up in recent weeks are the charges of alleged fraud made by Gana Peru, which accused government authorities of not observing the neutrality required by law and instead pulling strings, both at the political level and through the media [es], to allegedly favor Keiko Fujimori [es]. There have even been attacks on some journalists [es], demanding more plurality and objectivity in their coverage.
The other social conflict that has dominated headlines this week due to the high level of vandalism [es] that has been reached is that of Puno, a dispute [es] that has been cleverly used by candidates to make public statements that prop up their popularity. Humala says it is unfortunate that this happens precisely at this juncture in Puno, a region where his party is leading the polls [es], while Fujimori directly accuses Humala [es] of being behind these riots. (At the end of writing this article, it appears that negotiations were reaching and initial agreement) [es].
The candidates have based their strategies not so much on the presentation of new proposals as on the disqualification of their opponent, where they have even resorted to appealing to the fears of Peruvian society [es], swearing on the Bible [es] and even showing support or adherence to intellectual or media personalities, since Peru's political parties are so discredited that they have lost virtually all capacity for endorse a candidate.
With just a few days left until Sunday June 5, 2011, the date scheduled for the second round of elections in Peru, the latest poll on voting preferences also reflects this division of the electorate, as they provide somewhat different results; although all agree that the difference between the candidates has narrowed to a draw, not only do they give different figures but some put Fujimori in the first place, and others Humala.
Polls published on Sunday 29 May (1) give the following results; Ipsos-Apoyo [es] indicates 50.5% for Keiko Fujimori and 49.5% for Humala, IMASEN [es] reports 43.8% for Ollanta Humala and 42.5% for Keiko Fujimori; on the other hand CPI [es] counts 44.6% for Fujimori and and 41.5% for Humala.
That is to say, that neither candidate has achieved a decisive majority, given that the difference between the preferences for each candidate oscillate between 1% and 3%.
A poll carried out just a few days before these by the Institute of Public Opinion of the Catholic University [es] already predicted these results [es] giving 44.2% to Keiko Fujimori and 43.7 to Ollanta humala, consigning 12.1% white or null votes.
What no poll has been able to measure beyond the numbers is the degree of polarization of Peruvian society and its geographical correlation.
Until now, Keiko Fujimori has the largest acceptance in Lima, Callao and the large capitals of the coast, places where the economic and financial activity of the country is centered; while Ollanta Humala leads the polls in the Andean regions of Peru, most of all in the center and south, areas where the largest pockets of the population are living in extreme poverty.
José Enrique Escardó, of El Quinto Pie del Gato [es], criticizes the form in which the candidates have managed their social networks and echoes the sentiments of many Peruvians in a post titled “Neither Fujimori Nor Humala”:
Reafirmo, además, que votaré viciado en la segunda vuelta y mi compromiso de mantener una actitud vigilante frente al próximo gobierno, ya que considero que ambos candidatos reúnen las características psicológicas necesarias para convertirse en gobernantes autoritarios y tienen un pasado y formación que no les permite gozar de mi confianza.
Others, like Marcona Digital Noticias [es], don't hesitate to express their support for Ollanta Humala:
…siendo objetivos, la mayor amenaza a la democracia y a las libertades individuales representa el fujimorismo: los diez años de dictadura lo avalan, la corrupción generalizada, la destrucción a las instituciones, latrocinios, violación de los Derechos Humanos, etc. De Humala se tendrá dudas, pero de Fujimori hay pruebas certeras.
But Keiko Fujimori has also inspired her supporters, whose posture is summarized by El Asterisko 22 [es] in a post titled “I will vote for Keiko!”:
Porque Keiko es honesta.
Porque Keiko tiene un buen equipo de gobierno.
Porque Keiko no se ha vendido a ningún extranjero y porque no recibe órdenes de Chavez, Fidel u otro comunista.
Because Keiko is honest.
Because Keiko has a good governing team.
Because Keiko hasn't sold herself to any foreigner and because she doesn't take orders from Chavez, Fidel or any other communist.
The polarization of Peruvian voters is very visible not only in blogs but also daily on the streets, markets, research centers, offices, even within families, and is obviously even stronger on social networks, where it seems nearly all express their preferences, encourage others to vote for their candidate and are openly harassing those who say they will vote for the other.
Jeroónimo (@chipana40) expresses his preference for Keiko Fujimori:
@noakeiko DEJEN DE ENGAÑAR AL PUEBLO, EL PUEBLO QUIERE PROGRESO, GRACIAS A FUJIMORI HOY TENEMOS UN PAIS EN CRECEMIENTO
Meanwhile, Diva ✔ (@Samanfu) tweets:
Gente q vota x Keiko: Los que no quieren votar x Humala, los de ultra derecha y a los que les gustó el gobierno de Alberto [Fujimori]
Others are more aggressive, like Juan Pablo Limachi:
TODOS LOS IGNORANTES,,,, STAN CON KEIKO,,,,,,,,,,,BUENO PERSONAS,, QUE NO TOENEN CEREBRO COMO PARA TODO LO QUE HIZO,, LA KEIKO COMO 1ra,, DAMA Y CONGRESISTA,,,,
Angélica Quintana (@Angieliquita) makes it clear that:
Ojoo mi votoo no es por keiko, es contra Humala
Edgar Zárate opines on his Facebook wall:
La gente conciente y los intelectuales con moral han decido votar por Ollanta y el resto por Keiko.
Yosseline Enriquez (@YosselineHazel) assures that:
Lastimosamente el Sr. Humala confunde todo con un campo de batalla. Pena de verdad por los que crean que ese Sr. es lo que Perú necesita.
Giulia Razzeto (@bluegiulia) posts his disenchantment with both options:
@P_blo_ Keiko es hja de un corrupto y asesino pero Humala,es asesino de policías y golpista frustrado. Entre otras perlas. No le creo nada.
Considering the narrow statistical margin separating Fujimori from Humala, local political analysts believe that the public debate between the candidates (which took place on Sunday, May 29, in Lima) will be critical to tilt the high percentage of undecided voters in favor of either candidate.