Peru’s knife-edge presidential runoff is still too close to call, according to an unofficial quick count. Pedro Castillo, a leftist former school teacher from the Peruvian highlands had 50.2%, compared to 49.8% for investor favorite Keiko Fujimori, according to the count published by Ipsos.
The result was within the margin of error of one percentage point. An exit poll published earlier by Ipso showed Fujimori with a slight lead. “The country is pretty much split down the middle,” said Alfredo Torres, director of Ipsos Peru.
Castillo, who launched his political run with a Marxist party and was virtually unknown at the start of the year, is promising to extract more taxes from multinational miners and oil drillers to increase outlays on education and health. He blames the country’s economic inequality on the ruling elite who have long run Peru from the capital Lima while ignoring large swathes of the population.
Fujimori, the daughter of an autocrat, who has run for president two previous times, is under investigation for corruption but is vowing to save the country from “communism” by preserving a liberal economic model and boosting cash payments to families affected by the pandemic.