Last 48 to find out who will be the next president of Peru

Peru holds the second round of the presidential elections this Sunday, June 6
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PHOTO/Cesar Bazan y Martin Mejia  -   This combination of images created on 03 June 2021 shows a file photo taken on 01 May 2021 of Peruvian presidential candidate, right-wing Keiko Fujimori (left), speaking during a debate with left-winger Pedro Castillo (out of frame)

Polls in Peru indicate that both candidates are very close to each other, it will be a very close race. Pedro Castillo and Keiko Fujimori are contesting the second round of the Peruvian elections this Sunday. The latest polls have already been published and voting intentions are practically split down the middle. In recent months Pedro Castillo was the clear favourite to win the elections, Fujimori has closed the gap and is close to a technical tie, separated by only one and two points from her rival, mobilising part of the undecided to the right side of the vote.

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REUTERS/SEBASTIAN CASTANEDA - People queue to vote in the presidential and parliamentary elections at a polling station in Lima, Peru, April 11, 2021

Peruvians in various parts of the country mobilised to reject Fujimori's candidacy, chanting "Keiko no va", including trade unions, workers' movements, university students, and relatives of the victims of the Barrios Altos and La Cantuta massacres, for which former president Alberto Fujimori, Keiko's father, was sentenced to 25 years in prison. It should be remembered that Pedro Castillo comes from the educational trade union movement outside the capital and was the winner in the first round of the presidential elections by six points over the other candidates. Knowing that his direct rival would be Fujimori, he radicalised his left-wing economic proposals, exposing his ideas of moral conservatism, through a discourse against the "Lima elites". On the other hand, the leftist candidate, in a television programme, said that Nicolás Maduro is a democrat, a statement that made him receive a lot of criticism.

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REUTERS/LIZ TASA - Peru's socialist presidential candidate Pedro Castillo addresses supporters on the last day of campaign events before the run-off election

As for Fujimori, he has based his campaign on re-establishing order in Peru, a rhetoric that seems to be working after the terrorist attack by the Shining Path in rural villages last week. Mario Vargas Llosa, a Peruvian intellectual who ran against Keiko's father in the 1990 presidential elections, where he was defeated, now supports the political project of the daughter of his political adversary in the 1990s. The polarization has intensified in the last weeks, who will decide these elections will be the undecided voters and the main Peruvian demoscopic houses carry out in the last days of campaign what is known as the electoral simulation, where a calculation of valid votes for each of the candidates is extracted, reducing in this way the % of error margin, which the polling houses manage. Between 21 May and 28 May, Castillo lost two points, while Fujimori rose from 47.4% to 49% of the votes. Datum, one of the most important pollsters, placed Castillo ahead by 6 points in one week and the last poll published, the difference was reduced to only 0.5 points.

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PHOTO/AP - Presidential candidate of the Popular Force party, Keiko Fujimori, waves to supporters from above during her campaign closing rally in Lima, Peru

On June 3, the closing ceremony for the campaign of both candidates took place. Fujimori had planned to hold her closing ceremony in the city of Lima, but the local authorities did not allow the event to take place for health reasons, and it had to be moved to Villa Salvador. The candidate emphasised her education proposals, "in the face of the government's anti-democratic decision not to allow us to hold our campaign closing ceremony in the centre of Lima, we will go ahead. We will see you tomorrow afternoon at the Óvalo Las Palomas in the thriving and enterprising district of Villa El Salvador", said Keiko. Meanwhile, candidate Pedro Castillo, in his campaign closing speech, emphasised the pain of the victims of former president Fujimori, "the pain of the victims of forced sterilisations is mine. My family suffered during Fujimorism. I am committed to justice, full reparations, that the state recognises its responsibility and asks for forgiveness for this great violation of human rights," said Castillo. 

Latin America Coordinator: José Antonio Sierra.