Peru’s new president faces the challenge of removing mysteries and fears

(EFE). – Amid uncertainty about his future management and fears fueled in large part by a campaign accusing him of being a “communist,” Pedro Castillo, who takes office as Peru’s president on July 28, is challenged to pardon rising fears in a polarized country beset by the crisis caused by the pandemic.

After a long and exhausting introduction to the second presidential run in which he feuded on June 6 with right-wing winger Keiko Fujimori, Castillo will face the challenge of moving from evangelistic rhetoric to running a complex state and with political opposition he will challenge from the start of his administration.

Castillo won the election by only 44,000 votes over Fujimori, who denounced “fraud”, which did not provide reliable evidence for this, and would have only the first minority in a separate Congress made up largely of right-wing groups.

“The big political challenge is to have a Congress where he wouldn’t have a majority, and obviously not only the opposition, but many of them think he’s an illegitimate president.”

“The big political challenge is going to be a Congress where it won’t have a majority, and obviously not only the opposition, but many of them think he’s an illegitimate president,” analyst Gillen Espinosa told Efe.

Faced with this scenario, political expert Sandro Venturo said the president must “make fundamental decisions about the political image of his government,” which begins with a left-wing proposal that swings between the center of the party and the orthodox Marxism of his party’s ideology. ., Free Peru.

“We are in a scenario of a lot of political fragmentation, rights divided, the left divided, despite the enthusiasm it generates, and in general there is a huge gap between state and society,” Venturo told Efe.

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After the polarization that Peru has faced in recent months, with a campaign accusing Castillo of being a “communist” and a “Cavista”, mainly for proposing a Constituent Assembly and changing the economic system, there are analysts who consider Congress well, you can try to separate it, as happened in 2020 with Martín Vizcarra.

Added to this is the strong opposition shown by the elites to his election, and the demands of politicians and businessmen to conclude pacts that guarantee the continuity of the economic system.

“Economic power will also seek to put a set of obstacles for Castillo to give way, and this is another major challenge he faces,” Espinosa said.

“Economic power will also seek to put a set of obstacles on Castillo to give way, and this is another major challenge he faces.”

In addition, Venturo considered that the president would face the individual challenge of consolidating his political leadership, something that, he said, he did not show during the campaign towards the ballot, when he “failed to assemble a good technical team to present it unambiguously. Timely, clear proposals.” of their political position.

“In spite of himself and thanks to Fujimori’s weaknesses,” he asked, before thinking of Castillo winning the election: the general disapproval.

In addition to removing doubts about his political work, dealing with an aggressive opposition and outlining the main axes of his administration, Castillo still has to clarify how he will deal with the health and economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in his country.

With more than 2 million cases and nearly 200,000 deaths, the pandemic has exposed a weak and poorly regulated health system, but it has also hit an economy that remained stable until 2019, but in just one year it fell by nearly 11% and increased poverty. and inequality.

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“Pedro Castillo now has to grapple with how to revitalize the country’s economy, and also search for what he promised so much in the campaign: a people’s economy. I think finding that balance is an important challenge,” Espinosa added.

There is a “very powerful symbolism” in the fact that Castillo, a teacher and peasant at a rural school, “receives the popular mandate” on the same day his country will celebrate 200 years of independence.

And the current interim administration, headed by Francisco Sagaste for 8 months, also leaves him with a great challenge to finish the vaccination process against Covid-19, which is still able to launch a third wave in the country, according to many specialists.

What will happen in Peru as of July 28 is still “unknown” for Venturo, for whom everything will depend, to a large extent, on the “gestures” made by Castillo to allow this uncertainty to be replaced by a “judgment”.

Moreover, the political expert emphasized that there is a “very strong symbolism” in the fact that Castillo, a rural and peasant school teacher, “receives the popular mandate” on the same day his country will celebrate 200 years of independence.

Espinosa agreed with the strong symbolism of this acquisition and noted that Castillo proposed “ending the privileges of some and proposing a state with greater opportunities”, where all Peruvians would have “the same rights”.

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