"Who are the candidates, and will the dirt coming out on various candidates overshadow their proposals?”
The final weeks of Peru’s presidential elections have been fraught with alleged corruption. Fears of electoral fraud have stunted the country’s, and the world’s, faith in Peru’s democratic processes. Perhaps one of the key tasks at hand now, then, is to investigate who the candidates are in this fight for the presidency, and to consider whether the incriminating evidence coming out against them will overshadow their legitimacy for the position. First up: Keiko Fujimori. Fujimori is the daughter of Alberto Fujimori, a man notorious in the area for his presidency-turned-dictatorship in the early 90’s. Polls show her continuing to receive a significant 34% of the vote, but on the whole she has done little to dismiss the fears of many Peruvians who claim she will simply follow the pattern of her father. Claims of illegal “gift giving” during her campaign and receiving fraudulent campaign donations as outlined in the Panama papers are evidence of those fears already materializing for many. In a runoff vote in June Fujimori will be set to face either Veronica Mendoza or Pedro Pablo Kuczynski. Mendoza is a key figure to watch for, as a current member of Congress who is surging in the polls recently. Under the Broad Front coalition, this candidate has taken a strong anti-Fujimorist stance on a platform of labor rights, gender inequality, tightening oversight on mining corporations, and promoting cultural and indigenous expression. Though some fear her link to first lady Nadine Heredia, who has faced accusations of money laundering, Mendoza is one of the only candidates in this election not implicated in the Panama Papers. Her campaign runs closely rivaled by that of Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, though, commonly referred to as PPK. Kuczynski has propelled his campaign with promises of increasing national security and revitalizing the economy through exportation, tourism, and investment in infrastructure, thus gaining the votes of many large businesses and investors. PPK has been found to have connections with some of the implications in the Panama Papers, but largely is considered a “clean” candidate in comparison to opponents like Fujimori.