In Foreign intervention, Imperialism, Peru, Peru presidential elections 2021, Regime Change, Steve Ellner

Keiko Fujimori’s claims of electoral fraud is just the latest example of how the right responds to electoral defeat. It’s hard to believe that electoral fraud was committed in favor of a leftist candidate (Pedro Castillo) when the establishment so heavily backed Fujimori.

By Steve Ellner

Published on the author’s website, June 10, 2021
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Keiko Fujimori’s claims of electoral fraud is just the latest example of how the right responds to electoral defeat. It’s hard to believe that electoral fraud was committed in favor of a leftist candidate (Pedro Castillo) when the establishment so heavily backed Fujimori. The mainstream media in Peru beginning with El Comercio heavily attacked Castillo and publicized false allegations that Venezuela’s Maduro and Russia’s Putin were behind his candidacy. Furthermore, all international observers put their stamp of approval on the electoral process.

Consider similar incidents in the past, and you see a pattern in which the claims of the right are often backed by powerful actors including the corporate media, the U.S. government, and the OAS:

In the 2019 elections in Bolivia, even though Evo Morales won by 10% of the vote, the rightist opposition claimed fraud seconded by the OAS, which, as planned, led into a coup.

In the April 2013 presidential elections in Venezuela which Nicolás Maduro won by a margin of 1.2 %, Henrique Capriles refused to accept the results and called on his followers to take to the streets to express their “wrath.” The result was a night of violence including the killing of 11 Chavistas.

In the 2006 Mexican presidential elections, the opposite scenario occurred when PAN’s Felipe Calderón was declared victor. In a country that is notorious for electoral fraud (as occurred in 1988), Andrés Manuel López Obrador presented well documented evidence of fraud that robbed him of victory. I remember how CNN covered the story the night that the official results were announced by shunting aside López Obrador and interviewing Jorge Castañeda who insisted that the PRI immediately declare acceptance of the official results. His obvious intention was to legitimize the elections,  marginalize López Obrador and bury his claims.

And then there’s the U.S. November 2020 elections.

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Steve Ellner is an American scholar that has taught economic history and political science at the Universidad de Oriente, Venezuela, since 1977. He is the author of numerous books and journal articles on Venezuelan history and politics, specifically in the area of political parties and organized labor.

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