Candidates for the Presidency of Peru Keiko Fujimori and Pedro Castillo met this Sunday in the second and last debate, where the rightist launched a barrage of public spending proposals against her leftist rival, which she tried to convince by appealing to her honesty and humble origins.
Throughout almost three hours of extensive debate, the daughter and political heir of former President Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000) he did not stop firing economic proposals and labeling Castillo a macho and “stone thrower”, for the attacks on a Fujimori delegation the day before in the southern city of Arequipa, site of the debate.
In front, Castillo tried to be calm and did not respond with the same forcefulness to his opponent, more focused on highlighting the country’s great inequalities and presenting himself as a man of integrity in front of Fujimori, who faces a 30-year prison charge for alleged money laundering.
The candidate of the leftist Peru Libre party took care to deny various information launched against him, such as that he was going to confiscate people’s savings, and once again denied that he was a “communist” or a terrorist. “
ONE PROPOSAL AFTER ANOTHER
Among the multitude of economic proposals of the candidate of the Fujimori party Fuerza Popular is the increase in the minimum wage.
He also insisted on other measures already provided during the campaign to reactivate the economy such as giving credits of 10,000 soles (about 2,600 dollars) to entrepreneurs who will be able to begin to pay them back after five years and facilities for the creation of companies, with tax exemptions for the first years.
He also insisted on reduce the selective tax on fuel consumption, give 40 percent of the mining canon directly to the population and a bonus of 10,000 soles to the victims of Covid-19.
In education, Fujimori raised build 3,000 new schools, provide six million computers, subsidize the internet in schools and expand social programs, the Beca 18 university scholarships, while also anticipating that it will expand social programs such as Pensión 65 and Juntos, focused on vulnerable populations.
For health, he promised to have the entire population vaccinated against Covid-19 by the end of the year, something in which his opponent also agreed, as well as to strengthen the first level of health care.
THE STONE, LEADING
The most tense moment of the debate was lived at the beginning, when Fujimori showed one of the stones with which a group of Castillo supporters attacked the Fujimori delegation, part of the different violent episodes that have occurred on the part of both sides in this polarized campaign.
“You are used to throwing stones. With your language and your messages of hatred and class struggle, you have not only generated attacks from journalists, but also against citizens,” he reproached Fujimori.
“I am not here to throw stones, I am here to throw proposals”said Fujimori, who aspires for the third time to be the first woman to preside over Peru after losing the presidential elections of 2011 and 2016 in the second round.
CASTILLO WAIVES SALARY
For its part, Castillo raised the universality of health, free internet in schools, a decentralization of universities and free access to them, as well as expanding the public pension program to those over 60 years of age and other new ones to improve the diet of the poor population.
“Let’s give back to the country its sovereignty, political, economic and social. I do not bring bouquets of promises but I bring this fighting courage that I have learned as a patrolman and teacher. I know how things are done. No more poor in a rich country,” Castillo insisted , which also proposes to nationalize natural resources and protect local production.
The block of the most consistent debate for the teacher was that of corruption, where he timidly recalled the legacy of corruption of former president Fujimori and the accusation faced by the same candidate.
“Doesn’t it sound like talking to corruption is synonymous with Fujimori?” wondered Castillo, whose blow was returned by Fujimori when he reminded him of the corruption conviction of the leader of Peru Libre, Vladimir Cerrón.
“They tremble. They put up panels to call you ‘terruco’ (terrorist), chavista and communist, but today I say again that I will resign my salary as president. I will lead the country on a teacher’s salary. I am here for Peru. I am not moved by another interest, “he added.
While Castillo closed the debate by appealing that it is time to give an Andean man the opportunity to recover the dignity of the Peruvian people, Fujimori promised to build “a new path” with the tests that were thrown at them.
Both candidates entered the debate with maximum equality, in a virtual technical tie according to the latest polls published a week before the elections, where more than 25 million Peruvians are summoned to the polls next Sunday, June 6 to choose the person that will govern Peru for the next five years.