Fujimoristas pledge not to repeat “self-coup” on 19 year anniversary

Representatives from Peru’s Fuerza 2011 party pledged Tuesday not to repeat the 1992 “self-coup” of jailed ex-President Alberto Fujimori if its presidential candidate and daughter of the former president, Keiko Fujimori, is elected.

On April 5, 1992, Fujimori went on national TV and announced a state of emergency and that he was dissolving Congress and closing the judicial branch amid a faltering economy and raging guerrilla insurgency.

The former president justified the self-coup saying, “parliamentary inaction and judicial corruption have taken a clear obstructionist attitude … against the efforts of the people and the government.”

Nineteen years later, Alberto Fujimori is serving a prison sentence for human rights violations committed during his administration, while his daughter Keiko is one of the top contenders in a race for Peru’s highest public office.

A member of Fujimori’s party, Alejandro Aguinaga, said on the anniversary of the self-coup that it was an “exceptional” action that wouldn’t be repeated. “In no way will those measures be repeated,” daily El Comercio reported Aguinaga as saying.

Meanwhile, opponents have been calling on Fujimori to recognize that the self-coup was an error. Although his actions were met with over 80% of public approval at the time, and allowed him to change the Constitution and make sweeping economic reforms, they also led to an increasingly dictatorial government  and a manipulation of opposition leaders and the press through bribes, blackmail or over threats.

“She can’t just stress the good from Alberto Fujimori, but she also has to recognize the errors,” the former head of the Lima Bar Association, Raul Ferrero, told Ideeleradio.

“If Keiko recognizes the errors that were committed during her father’s time, she could see an increase in support because she would be seen as a person with an objective opinion,” he said.

Peruvians go to vote on April 10. Left-wing nationalist Ollanta Humala is leading opinion polls, followed by a three way race between Fujimori, former president Alejandro Toledo and Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, an ex-Wall Street executive and prime minister.

If no candidate receives more than 50 percent support, a run-off vote will be held in June between the top two candidates.

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