What do elections in Peru and Ecuador mean to the world


But the tensions and feelings prevailing in both countries extend far beyond the Andes. Their economies contracted painfully during the unfolding coronavirus pandemic Underlying weaknesses and inequalities Both societies. In Peru, where the coronavirus infection is rising again, some voters found themselves lining up on Sunday to cast their ballots and To secure the oxygen tanks For critically ill relatives. In Ecuador, soaring unemployment and explosive rise in violence against women Background formed To vote.

Spread public discontent and impatience with the political establishment. In Peru, where ballots were still being tabulated on Monday, one of the ballot takers in a crowded square in the first round of presidential candidates is expected to be “nobody”. Millions of Peruvians Cast their votes without leaving any mark As an act of protest. Rolling political scandals and corruption cases have seen four presidents and two congressmen gone over the past half decade. Public outrage reached a boiling point when it emerged that hundreds of high-ranking Peruvian officials and VIPs were secretly well connected. I jumped on the line for coronavirus shots Thousands of medical workers on the front lines accepted late last year.

“The epidemic has left a country with loopholes in it and has caused great frustration for citizens, who reject politicians and do not care much about elections,” said Fernando Twista, a professor of political science at the Pontifical Catholic University of Lima. He told the Guardian. “Add to this the largest number of candidates in living memory, who do not arouse passion, and show more weaknesses than strengths.”

A similar concern emerged in Ecuador. “I don’t feel that neither candidate represents me – they both make me nervous,” Alexandra Muñoz, 43, Economist in Quito, For the Los Angeles Times Before voting. “The middle class has been destroyed.”

The second round of the second round reflected a familiar competition in the region. Guillermo Lasso, who won around 52 percent of the vote, campaigned as a pro-business and religious-minded – he’s a member of the highly conservative Catholic establishment Opus Dei – a reformer who will lead the country’s faltering economy to ensure stability. His opponent, the left-wing technocrat Andres Arause, was seen as an agent of former President Rafael Correa, a polarized populist who ruled for a decade until 2017 but now lives in virtual exile in Belgium under the specter of domestic corruption charges.

Arawes pledged to pay $ 1,000 to a million families, even if that meant increasing indebtedness for the country and tearing apart a previous bailout agreement with the International Monetary Fund. News of Lasso’s win cheered the markets, with some Recently restructured state bonds rise To close records.

But Lasso hardly had a proven mandate. First, it took advantage of the discontent of indigenous voters in the country, who saw their favorite, Yaco Perez, narrowly miss the run-off amid allegations of irregularities. Perez’s call to vote may have turned the scales in favor of Lasso. Before the second round of voting, Lasso eschewed ideological exaltation in favor of a more inclusive message.

He completely changed strategy. Instead of attacking Korea and Arawes, try to deliver an inclusive message and reach out to sectors of society that do not usually vote for it, such as the gay community, ”Joanna Andrango, Ecuadorian political science professor, He told the Financial Times. “He started using TikTok. About 40 percent of Ecuador’s voters are Millennials and Centennials and he had to reach them.”

Given the center and left opposition in the national legislature, Lasso may struggle to take a freer approach. “To get votes, he had to give up a lot of his political and economic positions, so he would have to offer something to many sectors,” said Sebastian Hurtado, Quito’s political risk advisor. He told the Wall Street Journal. “That could complicate his liberalization agenda.”

The results in Peru indicate a more polarizing clash. Pedro Castillo, a Marxist school teacher and trade union leader from the northern interior of the country, It emerged from relative obscurity To secure the largest number of votes in the race. He advocates rewriting the country’s constitution, spending 10 percent of GDP on healthcare and education, and nationalizing Peru’s energy industry. He is also an opponent of abortion and same-sex marriage – embracing a mix of socially conservative values ​​and far-left politics anathema to the country’s rising urban elites.

Castillo’s potential opponent at the time of writing is Keiko Fujimori, daughter of former dictator Alberto Fujimori, imprisoned for human rights violations during his time in office. Fujimori is itself the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation into allegations of money laundering and obstruction of justice. Polls ranked her the most rejected candidate among voters, despite her name being recognized and supported A permanent base in support of the right wing Fujimori He kept her afloat.

“But a surprising left-wing rival like Castillo can direct all the conservative voices towards it,” The Spanish daily El Pais reported. Castillo opponents Smeared As the heir to the militants’ legacy of the terrorist group “Shining Path”. Fujimori, meanwhile, It was on clarification And that the “strong hand” policies she undertook did not necessitate a return to the dictatorship of her father.

Regardless of the second-round scenario, the future Peruvian president faces a deeply divided political landscape in the country’s unicameral Congress, which was also elected on Sunday. Experts suggest that, in the midst of ongoing economic pain and the pandemic crisis, a period of turmoil and uncertainty may deepen in Peru.

“I think the next scenario is really scary,” Patricia Zarate, Principal Investigator at the Institute of Peruvian Studies, an exploratory organization, He told the New York Times. Congress knows it can easily remove a president, and it is easy for a president to shut down Congress. Now it will be easier to do it again. “

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