In Peru’s Presidential Election, the Most Popular Choice Is No One

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“Political parties are no longer a vehicle for representation of the citizenry,” said Adriana Urrutia, a political scientist who leads the pro-democracy organization Transparencia.

“There are parties in the current Parliament that represent the interests of private universities facing penalties for failing to fulfill minimum requirements,” she added. “There are parties that represent the interests of illegal economies, like illegal logging and illegal mining.”

Some candidates are tailoring their messages to appeal to the growing skepticism about democracy.

Mr. Castillo, the union activist, has promised to replace the Constitutional Tribunal with a court elected “by popular mandate,” and said he would dissolve Congress if it blocked a proposal to replace the Constitution. Rafael López Aliaga, a businessman and a member of the ultraconservative Catholic group Opus Dei, has said Peru must stop a leftist “dictatorship” from consolidating power and has promised to jail corrupt officials for life.

Ms. Fujimori has abandoned efforts to moderate her platform in her third presidential bid. She has promised to pardon her father, who is serving a sentence for human rights abuses and graft.

The constant political turmoil has analysts worried for the country’s future.

“I think the scenario that’s coming is really frightening,” said Patricia Zárate, the lead researcher for the Institute of Peruvian Studies, a polling organization. “Congress knows they can impeach the president easily and it’s also easy for the president to close Congress. Now it will be easier to do again. It’s dispiriting.”

Reporting was contributed byJulie Turkewitz in Bogotá.

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