Peru Presidential Elections Too Close to Call

Two candidates vying for Peru’s presidency were still neck and neck Monday as vote counts trickled in for the runoff election. With over 95% of the vote counted, socialist Pedro Castillo led conservative rival Keiko Fujimori by less than one percentage point, according to a Reuters tally. Castillo, an outsider candidate, barely gained a lead against his rival overnight as votes came in from rural areas of the country. Lima’s stock market plunged, and the national currency dropped to a record low as uncertainty over the vote continued Monday. Peruvians are striving for political stability as seven of the country’s last 10 leaders have been either convicted of or investigated for corruption. Peru has had four presidents over the past three years. Both candidates have promised to respect the results of the poll. The country is also suffering a recession and one of the worst coronavirus fatality rates in the world, according to Agence France-Presse. Fujimori, a former congresswoman, was imprisoned as part of a corruption investigation. She is the daughter of Alberto Fujimori, a former president serving a 25-year sentence for corruption and the killing of 25 people. She has promised economic benefits to families with victims of COVID-19. Castillo was a schoolteacher in the country’s third-poorest district before entering politics. He has said that he is committed to rewriting the constitution, which was approved during the rule of Fujimori’s father. 

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