The election in Peru looks suspiciously familiar
Mark Twain once said that history doesn't repeat, but it rhymes.
Well, I'm hoping Lady History skips a beat this time, because I've seen this movie before and it doesn't get better with repetition.
Hundreds of Peruvians demonstrated outside the elections office in Lima on Tuesday as the presidential vote count neared its end, with socialist Pedro Castillo holding on to a narrow lead and tensions rising over contested ballots and accusations of fraud.
Castillo, who has worried markets and mining firms with his plans to shake up the copper-rich country's politics, held a slim lead of some 50.2%, ahead of right-wing rival Keiko Fujimori on 49.8%, with over 97% of the votes tallied.
On Monday, Fujimori made unsubstantiated accusations of fraud, adding fuel to an already tense situation, and publicized a hashtag for Twitter users to submit instances of what she called "irregularities."
Electoral experts, including international observers, told Reuters that no fraud had been observed.
"We are protesting because of the flagrant electoral steal. The (elections office) is playing in favor of Mr. Castillo, they are trying to commit fraud in his favor," said Fernando Tavera, a pro-Fujimori protester outside the elections office.
If you said that this sounds like our recent U.S. presidential election, you would be right (except that both of the U.S. candidates were reactionary right-wingers).
Lima is where Fujimori has the most support. Castillo, the son of peasant farmers, had surged late in the count as more of the rural vote came in, leading by over 100,000 votes at one point. However, buoyed by international votes, Fujimori began to gain ground again.
The candidate that is more to the left gained ground late in the counting, which is also like the U.S. election.
However, there are three other parallels that are even closer to the recent Bolivian election that prompted a bloody, right-wing coup.
1. false accusations of fraud by the right-wing business community.
2. the candidate is an actual socialist.
3. his support comes from poor, rural farmers.
Oh, and there is one other thing that is common with this election - the incredible corruption of the right-wing candidate.
As a candidate, Fujimori’s father – who is serving a 25-year sentence over corruption and death squad murders – and her own record as a politician play against her
Fujimori has also racked up accusations of graft, accused of receiving more than $17m in illegal campaign funds and heading a criminal organisation, and could face a 30-year jail term if convicted.
Given all of that, doncha think it is stunning that the election was this close?