Peru's presidential runoff election too close to call

  • Peru's presidential runoff election too close to call

Peru's presidential runoff election too close to call

Mr Castillo was the unexpected victor of the first round in April, which saw votes split among a wide field of candidates.

Peruvians have had years of political turbulence, with four presidents in the past three years. In a presidential election Sunday, millions of Peruvians headed to polling stations to choose from two main candidates who are both described as "right-wing populists".

Ms Fujimori had been leading since the official count began, but as results from rural areas - where support for Mr Castillo is strong - started to come in, the gap between them narrowed.

"It's necessary to see how citizens mobilize and participate openly without fear, hate, apprehension and without worry, ' stated Castillo". In Peru, Castillo, an outsider who was unknown by most in the country just a few months ago, capitalized on the crisis by pledging to reduce inequality and end systems that favored the wealthy elite. Above everything is Peru. "That is why I ask both groups for calm, patience, peace, to those who voted and didn't vote for us", Ms Fujimori said.

The country is also suffering a recession and one of the worst coronavirus fatality rates in the world, according to Agence France-Presse. The breakdown of the ballots yet to be counted - some from overseas that tend to favor Fujimori but more from rural areas where Castillo has been outperforming - suggests Fujimori's path to victory is narrowing.

"Respect for democracy, for its institutions, is absolutely essential", Mr Sagasti, who is not eligible for re-election under Peru's constitution, said.

The former union leader has prioritized education in his election campaign, vowing to increase Peru's educational budget from 3.5% to 10% of the gross domestic product.

Castillo was a schoolteacher in the country's third-poorest district before entering politics.

In a news conference, Ms Fujimori alleged that there had been a "strategy by Peru Libre [Free Peru, the party of Mr Castillo] to distort and delay the results which reflect the popular will".

Ms Fujimori, 46, the daughter of jailed ex-president Alberto Fujimori, is promising to maintain economic stability and pro-free market policies in the world's second-largest copper producer, as well as to pardon her father, who was sentenced for human rights violations. As well as a former member of Congress, she was the runner-up in the 2011 and 2016 presidential election run-offs.

Nevertheless, she scraped into the runoff by taking just 13 per cent, in a field of 18 candidates, to Castillo's 19 per cent. "Keiko's only possibility of growing her support was to create a monster, and she has been extremely successful", says Giovana Peñaflor, of Imasen pollsters.