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Peru: 2011 Elections: Reactions to Presidential Debate

Ollanta Humala Keiko Fujimori

Candidates Ollanta Humala and Keiko Fujimori. Photos: TVCultura (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) and Congreso of the Republic (CC BY 2.0)

The televised debate [es] between the two candidates for the Peruvian presidency, Keiko Fujimori and Ollanta Humala was closely followed by social network users during and after: it even created (after many proposals and discussions) the hashtag #dp2011 to follow related tweets, although there were other parallel hashtags such as #DebatePresidencial, #Debate2011 or #DebatePeru.

Such was the interest of local Twitter users that even the Peruvian press dealt with what they said, while simultaneously journalists issued their own analysis of the debate.

During the debate, which had four defined sections, users actively tweeted, and a selection has been published in Storify [es] by Juan Arellano under the Twitter user name @Cyberjuan. The reactions were varied, and were as divided as the voting preferences of the Peruvian people, but no shortage of postings disappointed. Such as that of Raziel Eziel Nigromante Black [es] on Facebook:

el debate me aburre la hija de alguien que tiene sobre su conciencia crimenes como el de la cantuta,barrios altos etc y un muñeco de chavez que solo intenta destruir la democracia… ya se cago el peru prefiero una conciencia limpia en vez de mandar a la m… a mi pais viciado….

The debate bores me. The daughter of someone who has crime on his conscience, crimes like that of the cantuta, uptown etc.  and Chavez's doll that only seeks to destroy democracy …Peru is already screwed. I prefer a clean conscience instead of sending my tainted country to hell….

Others commented on the candidates’ proposals, like Brian Tejeda (@signsofbrian):

Keiko se apoya en los pobres y Ollanta en beneficiar a todo el país, se nota quién quiere hacer la diferencia #debateperu #ganaperu

Keiko supports the poor and Ollanta supports benefitting the entire country, it shows you who wants to make a difference #debateperu #ganaperu

Along the same lines Eric Iriarte Ahón [es] notes:

Acusaciones cruzadas, el gobierno que se nos viene requerira que la Sociedad Civil se organice para ser oposicion democratica #dp2011

Accusations, the government that is coming will require that civil society organize itself to be the democratic oppostion #dp2011

Many commented that the debate had not been particularly instrumental in changing their voting intentions, such as Milan (@Mylanta):

Una mierda de debate, ínfimo nivel de ambos candidatos, ni siquiera creen en algo. Máscaras e intereses nomás #dp2011

A crappy debate, minimal level of both candidates, that don't even believe in anything. Masks and interests, nothing more # dp2011

Some bloggers have concerned themselves with selecting the tweets that they considered the most relevant, such as Dinorider[es]. Other blogs did a more detailed analysis such as La Diáspora Peruana [es] and Grupo Perú Futuro [es], the latter highlighting that,

El debate del último domingo terminó sin mayores sorpresas, sin grandes contrastes entre los candidatos, ni la sensación de que vaya a tener una repercusión significativa en el voto indeciso. Como es costumbre en las polémicas de nuestro medio, las referencias personales estuvieron a la orden del día y las propuestas fundamentadas brillaron por su ausencia, lo que no habla solo de los candidatos sino de lo que las personas demandan: el espectáculo.

Last Sunday's debate ended without grand surprises, without grand contrasts among the candidates, nor the feeling that it will have significant repercussions on the undecided voter. As is customary in the polemics of our field, the personal references were the order of the day and the fundamental proposals shone for their absence, it speaks not only of the candidates but rather of the people's demand: a show.

Some days after the debate, there are still reactions on the social networks [es], but more about the second round of elections, which will be held on Sunday June 5, like Ricardo Marapi's (@ricardomarapi) tweet:

No importa quien ganó el debate. Para los q ya tenían decidido su voto, su candidato ganó. Los dos debatieronhasta el perno [“pésimo” en jerga peruana]

It doesn't matter who won the debate. For those who have already decided their vote, their candidate won. The two debated abysmally.

But there are more optimistic comments, such as that of Noel Martin Sevilla Siero [es] on Facebook, who sees a positive balance.

Concluyó el debate Fujimori-Humala en el Perú.En un ambiente de respeto, se debatieron las propuestas de ambos. Muchos se lamentan que el pueblo escoja entre dos candidatos, de cuestionables credenciales democráticas. No obstante, hay que confiar en la sabiduría de los peruanos, que en la última elección escogieron a Alan García, de mala gestión en su primera presidencia,pero quien mejoró en su segunda presidencia.

The Fujimori-Humala debate has ended in Peru. In a respectful environment the both of their proposals were debated. Many lamented that the people have to choose between two candidates with questionable democratic credentials. However, one must trust in the wisdom of the Peruvian people, who in the last election chose Alan García, with mismanagement in his first presidency but who improved in his second.

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