Thousands took to the streets of Peru Tuesday to protest the presidential candidacy of Keiko Fujimori, daughter of former President Alberto Fujimori.
The former president is currently in prison for authorizing death squads and corruption during his decade in power between 1990 and 2000. Incumbent President Ollanta Humala is ineligible for elections this year due to constitutional term limitations. This leaves the candidacy to Fujimori, 41, and pro-business conservative and former World Bank economist, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.
Kuczynski was expected to join the protests but canceled the plan in a last-minute decision. Reuters reported Kuczynski as stating that it would be “undemocratic” for him to join calls to stop Fujimori.
In the first round of presidential elections, Fujimori emerged victorious, with Kuczynski, 77, coming in second ahead of leftist congresswoman, Veronika Mendoza.
According to an Ipsos poll released Sunday, Fujimori is shown beating Kuczynski in the runoff election scheduled for June 5, Reuters reported. Fujimori was seen garnering 45.9 percent of votes while Kuczynski was getting 40.6 percent of votes.
Critics reportedly say that a vote for her would be a vote for former President Alberto Fujimori. However, Keiko Fujimori has sought to counter her critics by vowing not to revive the hard-line methods of her father.
Keiko Fujimori's candidacy has been closely linked to her father’s time as the leader. The senior Fujimori is still popular with many rural Peruvians for defeating the Maoist-inspired Shining Path rebels. He is credited with taming hyperinflation and bringing about overhauls that laid the foundation for Peru’s growth. The poor sections of the society also reportedly support her because of her father’s social programs.
However, 45 percent of Peruvians say they will definitely not vote for her. This number is higher than that for Kuczynski, according to a recent Ipsos poll, Reuters reported.
Before voters head to the ballot box, the two leading candidates are scheduled to face off Sunday night in a last televised debate.
This is Fujimori's second run for president. She lost to Humala in the presidential elections of 2011.