Peru Election Goes Down to the Wire in Last Days of Campaign

Peru’s presidential race is tightening a week before the runoff between Pedro Castillo and Keiko Fujimori, according to two opinion polls published Sunday.

In a vote simulation conducted by Ipsos and published in El Comercio newspaper, leftist front-runner Castillo would get 51.1% in the June 6 election compared with 48.9% for Fujimori, within the poll’s 2.5 percentage point margin of error. Some 20% of voters were still undecided. The poll of 1,517 people was conducted on May 28.

Peru Election Goes Down to the Wire in Last Days of Campaign

A separate survey by Instituto de Estudios Peruanos (IEP) published in La Republica newspaper also showed a statistical tie between the candidates.

Those who intend to vote for Castillo fell to 40.3% from 44.8% over the last week, while support for Fujimori grew to 38.3% from 34.4% compared to May 23. Only 6.3% of voters reported being undecided. IEP’s poll of 1,227 people was conducted by phone May 27 to May 28 and had a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points.

Read More: Peru Tight Runoff Election Holds Risk of Radical Downturn

The candidates met face-to-face in a final debate Sunday evening in Arequipa. They discussed six topics including health, the response to the pandemic, the economy, education, and human rights.

Peru Election Goes Down to the Wire in Last Days of Campaign

Castillo, a former school teacher running with a self-proclaimed Marxist party feared by many investors, denied expropriation plans, promised not to impose large mining projects Tia Maria and Conga on local communities, while reiterating the need to renegotiate contracts.

“We are going to recover our riches with the renegotiation of contracts with large companies,” Castillo said.

Fujimori, a former lawmaker who’s narrowly lost two previous runoffs and has been charged with graft, used the debate to promise higher public spending including a plan to pay 10,000 soles ($2,600) to the families of those who died from Covid-19.

She also promised to channel 40% of the mining canon into payments to communities, and to raise the minimum wage.

The sol lost 0.6% to 3.83 per dollar on Monday following the polls and debate while the benchmark stock index rose 1.1%.

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