Peru’s presidential election is too close to call

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Peru’s electoral authority ONPE said it had counted 42% of the votes so far. Among them, Fujimori was the preferred candidate for 52.9% of the electorate, while leftist candidate Pedro Castillo was the preferred choice for 47.1%.

The turnout stood at 77 per cent.

Pedro Corvato, head of ONPE, said, “These results are the first official data from polling stations that are closest to counting centers, that is, urban votes. A significant portion of votes from rural areas and abroad are still waiting to be counted.” .

Corvato urged fellow Peruvians to wait for official results from the provinces.

The results are in line with previous pre-vote elections, which showed a strong share of vote intention among urban voters for Fujimori, daughter of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori. Meanwhile, Castillo, a high school teacher who has never held public office, maintained a strong appeal among rural voters.

In the last presidential election in 2016, Fujimori lost to former President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski with 49.9% of the vote, compared to 50.1% of the vote to Kuczynski.

Peru’s voters are heading towards elections at a time of extreme political instability. Interim President Francisco Sagasti became the country’s fourth president in less than five years, when Congress voted to oust popular former President Martin Vizcarra and Vizcarra’s replacement, Manuel Merino, resigned.

Peru most worried How will the country recover from this pandemic, which has highlighted the massive inequality that persists despite significant increases in gross domestic product (GDP) and a decrease in the average poverty rate in recent decades. Both candidates have proposed reforms related to the key mining sector, but Fujimori is relying on government benefits packages to attract voters, while Castillo has made structural changes to the economy.

Fujimori has pledged massive spending to compensate every Peruvian family that died of Covid-19 with 10,000 soles ($2,600), as well as 10 billion soles ($2.6 billion) to help small businesses recover. Lost in debt for. His promises include providing free water to communities not served by the main supply grid and owning 2 million land.

Meanwhile, Castillo has promised to cancel major mining projects in Conga and Tingo Maria, reform the pension system, decentralize public universities and create a science and technology ministry to boost industrialization.

“We are going to recover the money with the re-negotiation of contracts with the big companies, with the mining companies that take the assets of the country,” he said. “How is it possible that such a rich country has so much suffering, so much inequality, and only the greatest gains, even if they do not work.”

CNN’s Claudia Rebaza contributed to this report.

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