Kenji throws down the gauntlet
16 September 2017
Only one member of the FP bloc in Congress voted against the motion of no-confidence; none other than Kenji Fujimori.
Having repeatedly noted that the Constitutional Tribunal (TC) ruling on party-hopping (on which we reported last week) should be respected, the youngest of the Fujimori siblings made a dramatic intervention in Congress the day before on 14 September. When the bill came up for discussion, he chose to use his two-minute space to stand in silence, a tape covering his mouth. He had previously tweeted a picture of himself with his mouth covered, saying that the new law proposed by the Fujimoristas to circumvent the TC’s ruling, also known as the ‘gag-law’ or ley mordaza, was an attack on the constitution, freedom and the country’s institutions, in particular the TC.
Along with his vote for the Zavala cabinet, this appears to be yet another sign of the growing rift between himself and his sister, Keiko Fujimori. Kenji seems to be eager to form a breakaway group of Fujimoristas, but to do so he needs to ensure it will be possible to act as a coherent parliamentary group. In this sense, the TC ruling on party-hopping is of crucial importance. It is still too early to say what will happen with the Fujimoristas, and the attention given to the ministerial censure and the no-confidence vote has diverted public attention away from discussion of the ‘gag-law’.