WOLA Elections Monitor
by Jo-Marie Burt and Coletta A. Youngers
Polls closed in today’s second-round presidential elections in Peru.
All three exit polls that have been released to date show Ollanta Humala as the winner of today’s elections.
Ipsos Apoyo: Ollanta Humala 52.6% Keiko Fujimori 47.4%
Datum: Ollanta Humala 52.7% Keiko Fujimori 47.3%
CPI: Ollanta Humala 52.5% Keiko Fujimori 47.5%
Exit poll results are traditionally considered unreliable, but the consistentcy of the results by the three polling firms is leading analysts to suggest that Humala will be declared winner in today’s vote.
Transparency’s quick count results, which are considered widely reliable predictors of the final vote, are expected to be released at 6:30 p.m. in Peru.
Analysts suggest that the campaign focusing on human rights violations committed during Alberto Fujimori’s government, and especially the issue of forced sterilizations, was seen as major issue, in the final week of the campaign. During the 1990s, an estimated 200,000 women were sterilized without their consent as part of a government poverty reduction campaign. During a televised interview, Rafael Rey Rey, who ran as vice-presidential candidate on Keiko Fujimori’s ticket, said that, the sterilizations “were not against their will, but without their will.” This splitting of semantic hairs was widely discredited by the opposition media and in the Peruvian blogosphere.
Another factor that may have played a role in Humala’s apparent victory is that his coming on top of the polls in the days just before the final vote may have swayed undecided voters to cast their ballots for him.
The fear-mongering campaigns we reported on in earlier campaigns did not, apparently, achieve their intended effect of convincing a majority of Peruvians that Humala represented a danger to economic and political stability.
Peruvian blogger Marco Sifuentes said this was not a victory to celebrate nor to panic over. He pointed to three key lessons from today’s vote. First, he said, Peruvians do note like being told who to vote for, and they don’t like campaigns based on lies. Second, he said, Lima is not Peru. (Keiko appears to have been victorious in Lima and a couple of other departments in the north, but Humala won in the rural and jungle areas of Peru.) Finally, he noted, the mobilizations against Keiko Fujimori raised awareness, was powerful and effective, even with the media opposition it. But, Sifuente said, “Humala has been warned: he does not have a blank check.”