Justice will have to decide in a few days if its opposition movement, Popular Force, can participate in the elections scheduled for 2021.
“If they want to eliminate us, it must be through the popular vote,” says Peruvian opposition leader Keiko Fujimori, rejecting that a judge should rule on whether or not to marginalize the political movement created by her father three decades ago from the 2021 elections.
“This request for suspension, if it is granted, in reality what it grants is a death penalty to the party,” Keiko says in an interview with the AFP agency at his home in Lima, days before Judge Víctor Zúñiga decides yes disable for 25 months to the right-wing Popular Force party that she leads.
“There are 25,000 militants and thousands of followers who would be prevented by the constitutional right to finally elect” the new president and the new Congress, indicates Keiko, who faces this request from the prosecution a few months after his release after 16 months in preventive detention. .
As Peru tries to emerge from a political crisis that led to it having three presidents in a week, Fujimori faces one of its biggest threats since Alberto Fujimori was elected president of Peru in 1990.
Keiko, who at 45 has come close to winning the presidency twice (in 2011 and 2016), is the natural standard-bearer of Fujimori, but her options to compete in the 2021 elections are now in the hands of the same judge who sent her to prison.
Zúñiga must decide whether to accept a request from the prosecutor José Domingo Pérez and suspend for 25 months all activities of Fuerza Popular, while the investigations by the alleged illegal campaign contributions of the Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.
The judicial hearing begins next Monday, a week before the party primaries, which complicates the electoral schedule of Fuerza Popular. There is no date for the ruling.
The mother of two girls (Kyara, 13 and Kaori, 11), Keiko is one of the prominent figures in Peruvian politics under the magnifying glass of the prosecution in this scandal that also splashes four former presidents.
She denies having received illegal money for her campaigns and denounces that the prosecutor Pérez is obsessed with persecuting her.
“In total I have been unjustly imprisoned for more than 480 days. Since (the prosecutor) could not keep me imprisoned, now what he seeks is to eliminate all Fujimori,” he says.
“What I ask is that the people decide” at the polls, he says, arguing that “a transparent election in our country is in danger” by a “decision of two people” (the prosecutor and the judge).
This complicated outlook for Fujimori “is due to the obsession of a prosecutor who, having not kept me in jail now, what he seeks is to take a preventive measure, not only against me but against the entire political party,” he remarks.
Keiko emphasizes that “Popular Force represents a political current that has had uninterrupted parliamentary participation and representation for 30 years.”
“The right to choose must prevail beyond the investigation (by the prosecution), which must continue,” says the opposition, who expressed this concern a few days ago to a mission of the Organization of American States (OAS).
Keiko owes her leadership largely to the popularity of her father, the former president of Japanese ancestry who was sentenced in 2009 to 25 years in prison for corruption and crimes against humanity under his rule (1990-2000).
Despite his condemnation, many Peruvians admire Alberto Fujimori because he defeated the guerrillas and stopped the hyperinflation inherited from Alan García.