It is election time again in Perú. The run off for the presidency.
As it currently stands, a less than 1% margin separates the vote count between the two candidates. With a little over 96% of the total votes counted, the runoff election is coming down to a . . . well, a real nail-bitter.
A lot is at stake. The election represents an existential crisis for Perú. The two candidates, Pedro Castillo and Keiko Fujimori, could not be different. One represents the establishment. A conservative with a pedigree for politics and a penchant for controversy. The other, a first time politician and former school teacher who seems to be molded from the old leftists guard of Castro and Chávez.
The country is - well quite clearly - divided. The politics of this election are equally represented in the great social and cultural disparities that exist in Perú. Many see the promise of a socialist administration as a way out of poverty and a chance to get a "leg up." Others view the pro-capitalism, neo-conservative policies of the right as a pathway to more economic reforms. Whatever the vantage point and political leanings - Perú is caught in a real challenge.
The past 18-months have been challenging. COVID has devastated the economy, disrupted social fabrics, and fractured the nation. Whoever wins - the hope is the new leadership will find a way to bring healing and economic stability.
We'll stay tuned to this nail-bitter of an election and hope that whatever happens - the real winners in the election are the people of Perú.
The HBI Blog is a rotating journal from our staff. Our Blog is a series of messages from the field, insights from our work, and lessons in service.