Ban on alcohol sales from today
The biggest news in the final hours of the presidential election, due to take place on Sunday, is a prohibition on the sale of alcohol from today (Friday) until Monday. This is not new, it is part of the election law requirements. It is just that all the arguments in the election have been exhausted.
In the final days, following the televised debate last Sunday, both candidates have resorted to accusations about their opponent’s past history.
For Keiko Fujimori it is her role as first lady to her father, Alberto Fujimori, who was president from 1990 to 2000. Her opponent’s camp has said that she is simply a proxy for her father and will either pardon him and release him from prison where he is serving a long sentence for a series of crimes whilst president or he will rule from the prison cell.
For Ollanta Humala, the left wing candidate, the problem is his association with President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, his alleged human rights abuses as a military officer and his first round manifesto which had markets and investors panicking because of its left wing rhetoric. Humala has subsequently produced four major changes to his programme for government.
For city dwellers and the middle classes the threat of a left winger upsetting their lives is strong. More than 49% of those interviewed in a recent poll by Datum said that Ollanta Humala posed the greater risk of closing Congress and becoming a dictator, only 21% said the same of Fujimori.
However, Ollanta Humala is hugely popular in the rural regions where the economic successes of the country have barely filtered down and where great poverty exists.
The opinion polls suggest a close finish and its anyone’s guess as to who will win. Keiko Fujimori appears to have a very slender lead, but then there are still two days to go before poling day with the bars and cafes unable to sell alcohol.
For many Peruvians there was final piece of news this week when the current president, Alan Garcia, said that he will not stand in the 2016 presidential election; but then he has changed his mind before.