Peru’s presidential election on a knife edge as counting continues

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Peru’s Presidential Election On A Knife Edge As Counting Continues Peru’s Presidential Election On A Knife Edge As Counting Continues
Presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori (Guadalupe Pardo/AP), © AP/Press Association Images
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By Regina Garcia Cano and Franklin Briceno, Associated Press

The daughter of an imprisoned former president maintained a razor-thin advantage over her opponent in the race for Peru’s presidency in a run-off election held a day earlier as the coronavirus pandemic continues to batter the Andean country.

With 92% of votes counted, conservative Keiko Fujimori had 50.1% of the vote, while rural teacher-turned-political novice Pedro Castillo had 49.8%, according to official results.

This is Ms Fujimori’s third run for president, a role her father held in the 1990s.

The figures released by Peru’s elections agency, the National Office of Electoral Processes, included almost all votes cast near the country’s electoral processing centres.


Presidential candidate Pedro Castillo (Martin Mejia/AP)

The agency was still waiting for the arrival of votes from remote rural areas and abroad.

“No one can say for sure at this point who is going to win,” Fernando Tuesta, a political scientist at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru and former Peruvian elections chief, told a local radio station.

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In 2016, now-former president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski defeated Ms Fujimori by just 42,597 votes.

Ms Fujimori’s support was expected to come from voters in the capital of Lima and other urban areas, while Mr Castillo’s sympathisers are in rural communities.

Neither candidate had made any statements on Monday.

Mr Castillo left the rural, Andean district of Tacabamba early to travel to Lima.

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