Peru begins second round of presidential elections

Keiko Fujimori et al. wearing costumes Shamans perform rituals to predict the winner- though recent polls suggest the race could end in a technical draw

Keiko Fujimori et al. wearing costumes Shamans perform rituals to predict the winner- though recent polls suggest the race could end in a technical draw

Of those, Fujimori was the preferred candidate for 52.9% of voters, while left-wing candidate Pedro Castillo was the preferred option for 47.1%.

Over the past four years, Peru has had four leaders, one of whom resigned over a vote-buying scandal, another who was impeached, a third who stepped down after less than a week in the post and a fourth who is the current interim president.

Both candidates promised to respect the results when voting earlier in the day.

"It's necessary to see how citizens mobilize and participate openly without fear, hate, apprehension and without worry, ' stated Castillo".

Since then, Mr Castillo has appeared to maintain an advantage, but the gap between the two has narrowed dramatically, with the most recent opinion polls suggesting a technical draw. Above everything is Peru.

The teacher, who likes to campaign in a cowboy hat and often carries an oversized pencil - the symbol of his Free Peru party - won almost 19% of the votes, followed by Ms Fujimori with 13.4%.

The daughter of former president who helped Peru escape an economic crisis and largely subdued a Maoist guerrilla group before being jailed for human-rights violations, it's her third attempt at the top office.

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Castillo appeals to rural voters.

An elementary school teacher, he is easily recognisable by his cowboy hat and oversized pencil that he campaigns with - the symbol of his Free Peru party.

After changing the methodology of how it registers Covid deaths, Peru became the country with the highest per capita death rate from coronavirus in the world. Fujimori won the capital Lima and in northern coastal areas, while Castillo took the more rural Andean regions, including the mining districts of the south of the country. She is a former congresswoman and was the runner-up in the 2011 and 2016 presidential election run-offs.

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".

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.

Seeking to woo the votes of Peru's poor and underprivileged, she also said her government would give 10,000 soles ($2,600; $1,830) to families who had lost a relative because of Covid-19. He is seeking to rewrite the constitution that was approved under the leadership of Fujimori's father so that "human rights have to be a priority" and "to end all inequalities".

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