Is Peru’s Crowded Presidential Election a Bridge to Nowhere?

Yonhy Lescano, the presidential candidate of the Popular Action party, campaigns in the Villa El Salvador area on the outskirts of Lima, Peru, March 29, 2021 (AP photo/Martin Mejia).
Yonhy Lescano, the presidential candidate of the Popular Action party, campaigns in the Villa El Salvador area on the outskirts of Lima, Peru, March 29, 2021 (AP photo/Martin Mejia).

LIMA, Peru—In a country long plagued by political malfeasance, jaded Peruvians like to say that they usually cast their ballot for the “least bad” candidate. Now, as Peru staggers toward an April 11 general election, voters—battered by the COVID-19 pandemic, economic collapse and five years of political turmoil—seem unable to decide which of the 18 largely unconvincing presidential candidates that might be. Yonhy Lescano, the center-left frontrunner, barely breaks into double digits in opinion polls, while the leading five candidates’ combined support does not hit 50 percent. These are unprecedentedly low numbers, even for a society that has long viewed […]

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