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This May 23 and 30 will be held the only two debates from second round of elections Come in Popular Force Y Free Peru organized by the National Elections Jury (ETC.). In the first, they will be the technical teams of each political group; and in the second, they will be the presidential candidates Keiko Fujimori (FP) Y Pedro Castillo (PL) who confront their ideas and government plans for all Peruvians.

Agree on the type and characteristics of the debate It was not easy for the electoral entity, according to the minutes of the meetings to which it agreed Trade officially. And it is that, according to the documents, the ETC. had to deal with party representatives explaining the importance of holding four debates; which finally materialized only on two dates due to the disagreement of the representatives of the political parties.

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In the meetings via zoom, which began on April 23, they participated by Popular Force Luis Galarreta (candidate for the vice presidency) and Milagros Takayama (person and legal representative) and for Free Peru Ana María Córdova (legal person) and José Eduardo Bendezú did it. While for the ETC. Milagros Suito Acuña spoke in her capacity as National Director of Education and Civic Civic Training and Mónica Mauricio López as Coordinator of the Informed Vote Program.

In this first meeting, both political organizations became aware of the proposal of the ETC. to perform four debates and the dates set for these: on May 11 for the virtual technician, on May 16 for the vice-presidential and on May 23 and 30 for the presidential ones. In addition, they were told that a forum on integrity and anticorruption was being promoted, organized by TV Peru and other allied institutions for May 15, 2021. These, at all times, would be broadcast by TV Peru.

They questioned two presidential debates

It was Ana María Córdova, legal person of Free Peru who initiated the questions for the realization of two presidential debates, requesting an explanation of the “justification” for it. He also suggested that the anti-corruption forum be held on another date and the debate of the technicians on May 15.

The representative of Popular Force, Milagros Takayama, who “suggested that the debates on May 15 and 23 – presidential debates– could be reduced to just one for May 30 ”.

Initially, the representatives of Free Peru Y Popular Force agreed to reduce to a single date the presidential debate because their candidates “were on the campaign trail.”

Suito, according to the minutes, asked the representatives of both parties to reconsider the participation of the presidential candidates on the two suggested dates.

Following the invocation, Takayama announced that the next meeting would have an answer on the presidential debate, but specified that they agreed with the technical debate.

While, Free Peru -It is indicated in the document- “specified as the first position that the presidential debate it takes place only one day ”.

At that time, they indicated that they agreed with the technical debate, but they asked to reschedule it and that the anti-corruption forum not be carried out or be reprogrammed.

“Both representatives reiterated the willingness of their parties to participate in the technical discussions”, Indicates the first act as one of its agreements.

At that same meeting, the specialists of the Informed Voting Program, Mónica Mauricio and Carlo André Callacná, proposed to technically assist political parties to use their Twitter accounts, “in order to avoid fake news or false news, trolls and others. ”.

PL questioned the presence of technical teams

For the next meeting on April 29, the spirits of Free Peru were others. Not only did they hold their posture to hold a single presidential debate that it takes place on May 30; Rather, they were now opposing a debate between the technical teams.

At that time his announcements for the deactivation of autonomous institutions such as the Ombudsman’s Office and the constitutional Court, as well as the lack of its technical equipment. While a Popular Force specialists in economic matters joined in.

At the meeting, Ana Córdova Capucho (PL), stated that the population’s expectation of listening to the candidates could be met with just one presidential debate where all the necessary issues are addressed.

Another representative of Free Peru, José Eduardo Bendezú, who reiterated that the reason “for not carrying out the technical debate”Is that the central figure was the presidential candidate.

“The central figure is that of the candidate for president and that the technical team is not the one elected to govern, so it is the candidate for president who should be the one who participates in the debate,” said José Eduardo Bendezú, according to the minutes of the Jury National Elections.

In addition, the representative of Free Peru set his party’s position to “perform only one debate among the candidates who are going to lead the country ”for May 30.

Faced with this change in position, the representative of the ETC., Milagros Suito, reminded him that in the previous session both parties had agreed to hold the technical debate.

“He specified that at the last meeting the minutes of the agreements reached between all the representatives of the political parties were read and that said document was sent by email. On the other hand, he indicated that the importance of technical debate is to listen to the proposals at a technical level and not necessarily political as it happens with the presidential debates”, The document reads.

The secretary of Popular ForceLuis Galarreta Velarde, who joined this new meeting, remarked that the debate between the technical teams “was fundamental.” And, in addition, he accepted the proposal of the ETC. so that two are made presidential debates.

In something that Galarreta agreed with the representatives of Free Peru it was to obviate the debate between vice presidents.

A tug of war of disagreements

The session was tense during the almost two hours of disagreements between the representatives of the political parties of Popular Force Y Free Peru.

Finally, Galarreta proposed to suspend the session so that Free Peru consult with your candidate Pedro Castillo, about the realization of the two presidential debates ensuring that this had raised more than one debate.

For his part, Mr. Luis Galarreta indicated that he accepts the comprehensive proposal of the JNE, but that he could evaluate the possibility of avoiding the debate between vice presidents after what was proposed by the Peru Libre National Political Party. However, he considered that the technical debate is fundamental ”.

Given this, Ana Córdova from PL, replied that Castillo Terrones “has not suggested that there are many debates”, Nor more than the ETC. is organizing.

Then, Bendezú de PL intervened -according to the minutes- questioning that there was “a coincidence between the ETC. and the Popular Force party to want to impose the debate proposal ”. For this reason, he ratified the position of his political party that only one debate between candidates and that this is outside of Lima.

Suito del ETC. and Galarreta of the PL rejected the assertions of the representatives of Free Peru.

The representative of ETC., in addition, he explained that it was necessary that there be several debate to address various issues for the benefit of citizens.

Debate in Chota: Keiko Fujimori arrives at the Plaza de Arma stage
Debate in Chota: Keiko Fujimori arrives at the Plaza de Arma stage

It should be noted that it was in this session that Galarreta requested the ETC. participate in the debate that had been summoned by Pedro Castillo in Chota for May 1 and to which Keiko Fujimori had announced that he would appear.

However, Ana María Córdova Capucho from Peru Libre, asked the electoral representative that the meeting to which they were summoned focus on the planned agenda of the debates proposed by the JNE.

Finally, the debate Come in Keiko Fujimori Y Pedro Castillo occurred in Chota on May 1, without technical assistance from the ETC..

Distortions that led to only two debates

On May 2, the representatives met again via zoom to make decisions, but again the discrepancies prevailed regarding the number of debates. It was in this session that, despite insisting that at least two debates be held and that these be solely presidential, finally in ETC. he ended up rethinking that there be at least two debates: one presidential and others in charge of defining between a technician or vice-presidential. This, as long as both parties agree.

The representatives of Free Peru, Ana Córdova and José Bendezú reiterated their position that it is a presidential debate and another to be defined, at least; due to the pandemic.

According to Córdova, with a single date for the presidential debate all the issues could be addressed and the vice presidential debate for being something “novel”. Bendezú even proposed that the debate that took place in Chota could be taken as one of the two presidential debates proposed by the ETC..

This was rejected by Luis Galarreta of Popular Force, who requested that the minutes record that the presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori and her party agreed to carry out four presidential debates. In addition, because the debate in Cajamarca had not had “fair” conditions between the presidential candidates.

The representative of ETC., Milagros Suito intervened once more to explain that the electoral entity guaranteed all the biosafety measures for carrying out the electoral debates and asked that an intermediate point be reached.

The session was still trapped, in which Free Peru insisted that a presidential debate and to define the topics and moderators of the same.

Galarreta replied that Free Peru was “distorting the rethinking of the ETC. who proposed two presidential debates”.

Finally, with Bendezú from Free Peru claiming “agreements and not impositions” the meeting closed without setting the next meeting date.

Until May 11 last ETC. was waiting for the response of Free Peru to resume the meetings in order to finalize agreements on the debates, what I finally know completed on May 12 prior to the exhortation of the president of the electoral entity, Jorge Salas Arenas and the Tribunal of the Electoral Ethical Pact.

That same day, the representatives of Popular Force They agreed to carry out a presidential debate; while those of Free Peru they accepted the technical debate. The agreed dates were May 23 between the technical teams, and another on May 30 with the candidates for the presidency.

They both agreed that the debate whether in the interior of the country, what was finally defined in Arequipa as the stage where they will confront their proposals, which will be divided into five thematic blocks: reform of the State; economic recovery and poverty reduction; health and management of the pandemic; infrastructure, regional development and decentralization; and citizen security and internal order.

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