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Peru will have a record 22 presidential candidates for the April elections, including Keiko Fujimori on his third attempt and former president Ollanta Humala, who were in prison amid corruption investigations .

The National Elections Jury said Wednesday that all applicants were submitted “electronically” by a similar number of parties on the last day of registration the day before, due to coronavirus restrictions.

On the candidate Fujimori, daughter of the imprisoned former president Alberto Fujimori, weighs a tax lawsuit to suspend the functions of her right-wing Popular Force party for alleged money laundering, which if approved by a judge would leave her out of the electoral race.

Keiko Fujimori, who was imprisoned for two times for 17 months between October 2018 and May this year, is being investigated by the courts for money laundering and alleged receipt of illicit money from the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht to finance his political campaign.

Humala, a retired military man who ruled the country between 2011 and 2016 , spent nine months in preventive detention between 2017 and 2018 also for investigations into money laundering and receiving illegal money from Odebrecht.

Both have repeatedly denied the allegations.

The candidates also include the former left-wing presidential candidate Verónica Mendoza, the center economists Julio Guzmán and Hernando de Soto and the former soccer goalkeeper George Forsyth, who currently leads the voting intentions.

In addition to the presidential formulas, 24 political parties presented lists of candidates for the country’s unicameral Congress, made up of 130 members, the electoral jury said.

This is also the result of a tremendous disaffection that we have accumulated for years, typical of a country where there is above all rejection of adherence to the candidates, “the former president of the National Elections Jury, Fernando Tuesta, told Reuters.

The historic number of candidates to govern Peru since the end of July next year would probably also be a record in Latin America, a region with democracies characterized by constant political turmoil.

In Ecuador, which will hold elections on February 7, 16 presidential candidates have so far registered.

The second highest number of presidential candidates in Peru was registered in 2006, with 20 applicants.

With this electoral fan, the dispute becomes unpredictable in the second largest copper producer in the world, which accumulates four presidents in the current government period (2016-2021), after resignations or removals of its leaders in the midst of a strong struggle with Congress.

According to a survey by the firm Ipsos Peru released in mid -December, 32% of Peruvians say they will not support any candidate or do not know who to vote for on April 11.

Forsyth leads the preferences with 18%. They are followed by Guzmán with 8%, Mendoza with 7% and Fujimori with 7%.

We are going to have a great dispersion of votes due to the high number of candidates and the two who would go to a second round to define the presidency would obtain less percentages of support compared to the previous elections, “said Tuesta. 

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