Araoz to support Fujimori in presidential run-off

Mercedes Araoz

Peru’s former minister of Economy and Finance, Mercredes Araoz, has decided to support presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori in the second round vote on June 5, daily El Comercio reported.

Araoz said she could not vote for Fujimori’s opponent, leftist Ollanta Humala, because of the “inconsistencies” in his discourse and government plan.

“I cannot vote blank or for someone with inconsistencies in their discourse and that within a month changes in order to win votes,” Araoz said, who briefly ran for president as an independent on the ticket of President Alan Garcia’s ruling Aprista party.

She ended her campaign in January after an internal conflict with party stalwart and former prime minister Jorge del Castillo.

“I don’t trust a person who can change within a month, who attacks a model and now says he believes in the model,” Araoz said in reference to Humala. “I will vote for Keiko, given the circumstances.”

Critics of Humala have pointed to his original government plan, which calls for a change to the constitution and a greater state role in the economy. “It is… a policy program to radically change the neo-liberal model that stresses social inequality, preys on natural resources, distorts legality and democracy and does not generate development,” the original plan says.

During his campaign, Humala has looked to attract moderates and create a centrist image to defeat Fujimori, a 36-year-old congresswoman and daughter of imprisoned ex-President Alberto Fujimori.

In a ceremony two weeks ago, Humala swore to respect the nation’s democracy and make no attempt to alter the Constitution or the market economy if he is elected.

During Sunday’s first and only presidential debate, Fujimori regularly attacked Humala on the changes to his plan.

The most recent opinion poll by firm Ipsos Apoyo shows a statistical tie between Fujimori and Humala. Fujimori has 50.5 percent support compared to 49.5 percent for Humala with a margin of error of 2.2 percent, the polls says.

That poll of 1,990 people was taken May 21-27.

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