The high fragmentation of the electorate ended up favoring two candidates who in the polls did not appear in the first places. The teacher José Castillo is guaranteed his passage to the ballotage to compete with a conservative candidate. Keiko Fujimori Higuchi appears as the strongest candidate to go to the second round for the third time in her political career.
The first electoral round throws surprises in Peru that were not even contemplated by the most imaginative projections: the former leader of the teachers José Pedro Castillo was in first place with 18.2% of the votes, when 80% of the electoral roll was counted.
According to the count of the National Office of Electoral Processes (ONPE ), Keiko Fujimori Higuchi appears as its strongest contender in the second round on May 6. The Fuerza Popular candidate obtained 13.17% of the votes.
The ultra-liberal economist Hernando de Soto, with 12.34%, and the magnate Rafael López Aliaga, a numerary of Opus Dei and celibate (12.18% of the votes), did not lose hope of competing with Castillo. Uncertainty will hang in the air until ONPE finishes its count shortly. What is known so far is that the ballot involves a candidate from the left and another from the right.
“We are a fractured country, divided. Each election shows us and we speak the following days of deep Peru, of the voice of the voiceless, of the ignored,” said the newspaper La República in its editorial. “It is possible that in a few months we Peruvians will have to make a decision between two diametrically different options ,” newspaper El Comercio said for its part .
Analyst César Hildebrant considered that Peruvian society has an “attraction to the abyss” when having to choose for Fujimori Higuchi, “a candidate who vindicates the corruption of Fujimorism” and a man “who is proven close to” the armed group Sendero Luminoso ” .
The unprecedented degree of fragmentation , one of the consequences of years of political and institutional crisis, with three presidential resignations between 2018 and 2020, ended up favoring the least expected competitor. Castillo represents ” deep Peru” , often forgotten by Lima.
He has led teacher strikes and was part of Peru Posible, the party of Alejandro Toledo , whose extradition to Peru, where he is accused of malicious acts, a US court should say shortly. The former teacher’s program mixes leftist positions with the rejection of any gender approach. In turn, he defends the death penalty against the corrupt. Whoever wins on June 6 will govern with an adverse and also disintegrated Parliament.