1664811119 A diehard and a retired general are contesting Limas mayoralty

A diehard and a retired general are contesting Lima’s mayoralty vote after vote

At five in the afternoon, Rafael López Aliaga, the far-right businessman who came third in the 2021 presidential election, was virtual mayor of the Peruvian capital. The Ipsos pollster placed him in first place with 26.8%, while his competitor Daniel Urresti (Podemos Peru) finished exactly one point behind with 25.8%.

The difference was minimal and therefore the victory could not be claimed. It was a result, but also after the last voting simulations. But for Heavenly Wave supporters, the bucket of cold water fell almost at eleven o’clock at night when the National Office of Electoral Processes (ONPE), the entity that watches over the votes, announced its quick count of 47.055%. .

In that, Urresti, a retired general voting for the fourth time, has turned the tide with 26% and a margin over the point. López Aliaga, the member of Opus Dei who declares himself the candidate of the hills, registers 24.8%.

At the same time, however, the Ipsos pollster published his quick count of 100% in metropolitan Lima, giving a technical draw between López Aliaga and Urresti at 25.9%. The numbers have unsettled voters backing the candidate, who self-identifies as Porky, the animated pig from Looney Tunes.

The very tight margin could bring a heavenly wave of accusations and claims to the table. They are taking shape on Twitter, the most political social network, as happened in June 2021 when Pedro Castillo, a peasant teacher with union experience, defeated Keiko Fujimori, the candidate who lost the Peruvian presidency for the third time. in a second round.

For the political scientist and university professor Paula Távara, this discourse creates harmful effects on citizens and institutions. “It not only affects the city, but the legitimacy of democracy. That worries me all the time. Because it could repeat itself over and over again. Unfortunately, the ghosts of trauma can reappear.

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Disconnection and low quality of the suggestions

“I didn’t vote with enthusiasm. Only because of who I think has the least background,” says Katherine Mejía, an architect, mother of one girl and resident of Lince, a middle-class neighborhood in Lima. Mirza Palomino, manager of a shoe shop, also shares this enthusiasm: “From what was available, I chose what seemed better to me, but I didn’t have a favourite,” says Melitón Carvajal, the synthetic school Feld the largest in the district, where several polling stations have been set up.

AME9866.  LIMA (PERU), 09/25/2022.- Daniel Urresti of Podemos Peru takes part in a debate with candidates for the mayoralty of Lima in Peru today.  EFE / Paolo AguilarAME9866. LIMA (PERU), 09/25/2022.- Daniel Urresti of Podemos Peru takes part in a debate with candidates for the mayoralty of Lima in Peru today. EFE/ Paolo Aguilar Paolo Aguilar (EFE)

His mother and daughter found out on Saturday that they have to vote this Sunday. But they are not an exception, but rather a trend: in the 2022 regional and local elections, which will elect more than 13,000 authorities across Peru, including 25 regional governors and 196 provincial mayors, there is a perception that a large percentage is dissenting Voters were disconnected from the process. And you’ve decided your vote in the queue.

Political scientist Paula Távara explains this disinterest in two aspects: the nationwide political noise and the widespread feeling that the problems overwhelming the country do not seem to be solved by communal efforts. “We have focused so much on the numerous executive branch mini-crises and mini-scandals that it has ended up absorbing the time and attention of what would normally be the election campaign. In the midst of this chaos, very few citizens could think about their vote.”

On Sunday, after a breakfast with a group of motorcycle taxi drivers, Rafael López Aliaga (Popular Renovation) showed his voting card to television to lodge a complaint: that his logo had faded and that it would therefore reduce his chances of winning the election campaign.

According to the political scientist Fernando Tuesta, former head of the National Office for Electoral Processes (ONPE), López Aliaga’s act constitutes an electoral crime provided for in Article 358 of the Penal Code, since the election is secret and proselytism is also prohibited. politically.

Daniel Urresti, the Podemos Peru candidate who would be the highest authority in Lima according to the ONPE flash count, responded with a message to voters: “He broke the rules. What will he respect if elected?

Both López Aliaga and Urresti had the same “workhorse” throughout their campaign: increase and end citizen insecurity. While the businessman suggested patrolling the capital with a fleet of 10,000 motorcycles equipped with GPS, Urresti, a retired general, assured that later in his tenure he would be arresting 200 criminals a day in Lima.

“Without trivializing that, after the pandemic and with the precarious situation, uncertainty may have increased, there is a discourse on crime that I think was installed in order not to have to discuss deeper issues. It is easier for a candidate to talk about patrol cars and arrests than territorial reorganization, building public lighting and safe public spaces,” explains Paula Távara.

George Forsyth, the Somos Perú candidate who finished third on the Lima podium, was not far behind López Aliaga or Urresti in this regard. The ex-professional archer planned to arm the Guardians.

A detail repeated in this election, as in the 2021 presidential election that put Pedro Castillo in power, was the delay in installing the voting tables. According to a report by the NGO Transparencia, at 10:30 a.m. nationwide, only 50% of the tables were set (41,988 out of a total of 84,322).

Absence of Free Peru and Popular Force in the regions

A fact that has caught the attention of political analysts is that almost a year and a half after the national second round, neither Peru Libre nor Fuerza Popular are among the parties of origin of the new authorities at the district and regional levels.

According to Gianfranco Vigo, a development communicator with a deep knowledge of the socio-political reality of the regions, this is a consequence of the weakening of political parties. “This scenario of the mini-candidates in the presidential election, in which only a few votes were distributed, has been repeated. And that reduces the legitimacy of the authorities in their jurisdictions.”

Vigo adds that while local and regional elections used to serve to put the government in power, this has not happened due to the estrangement between President Pedro Castillo and Peru Libre. “Official power does not have the power of other governments. In addition, the President himself resigned from the political party that brought him to power. I’m not surprised by the results.”

Joaquín Ramírez, former general secretary of Fuerza Popular and former congressman, is in theory the virtual regional governor of the Cajamarca region. After the quick count, he has scored 33.7% with his Cajamarca Siempre Verde group. However, the election jury had declared his candidacy inadmissible the day before because of “violation of the rules of procedure”. Ramírez has been under investigation for money laundering since the days when he was close to Fuerza Popular leader Keiko Fujimori.

Cajamarca analyst Gianfranco Vigo highlights the moral and ideological impoverishment of the political class, even at the sub-national level. “Corruption, public works contracts and tied offers are normalized in the regions. The Creole culture lived in Peru was normalized and institutionalized with the government of Pedro Castillo,” he claims.

Ramírez will be joined by Luis Torres Robledo (Movimiento Independiente Regional Fuerza Tacna), the brand new regional governor of Tacna, who leads his closest pursuer Segundo Ruiz (Movimiento Siempre Tacna) by 10% in the quick count. The detail: cleaning up the domestic prison because he is accused of running a criminal organization.

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