Peru prepares for Sunday’s election

World Today

Opinion polls indicate close race in presidential runoff

Peru votes on Sunday in one of the most-fiercely contested presidential elections in recent years. Pollsters suggest Keiko Fujimori was slightly ahead of economist Pedro Pablo Kuczynski. Fujimori is the daughter of former President Alberto Fujimori, who was jailed for human rights crimes and corruption.

Anticipation is high as ballot materials headed to polling stations throughout Peru on Saturday, one day ahead of Sunday’s run-off presidential elections.

On Friday national pollsters said Keiko Fujimori appeared to be maintaining a very small lead over Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, though within the margin of error and with a large number of voters still undecided.

Trucks loaded with ballot materials made their ways through the streets of Lima accompanied by police to assure safe and legal elections.

Throughout Peru, the police are also making sure that the country’s election “dry law” is being obeyed.

Any business found in violation may be fined up to 2,500 soles ($770 US dollars).

The shadow of an imprisoned former president looms over Sunday’s Peru election, which has become in many ways a referendum on the legacy of Alberto Fujimori’s iron-handed rule in the 1990s.

Many of the nation’s rural, indigenous poor have flocked to the support of his daughter Keiko, grateful for her father’s success in routing guerrillas who preyed on their communities.

But tens of thousands have marched in the streets of the capital against the return of any Fujimori, haunted by the memory of the elder’s bloody crackdown on dissent and his corrupt government, which have him serving 25 years in prison.

Story from the Associated Press.