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Presidential candidate Pedro Castillo addresses supporters. Photo EFE.
Presidential candidate Pedro Castillo addresses supporters. Photo EFE.

A polarized second round in Peru's 2021 elections

Pedro Castillo, a left-wing teacher, is going to the second round with 16% of the vote, while three other candidates are competing for the second round.

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The National Office of Electoral Processes (ONPE) released yesterday the first results of the elections in Peru, giving the candidate of Peru Libre, Pedro Castillo as the undisputed leader in the first round. With 15.8% of the votes, he distances himself from the other candidates even though there is still a technical tie. We are still waiting for the counting of the tables to give a definitive result of which candidate will go to the second round against Castillo. 

So far, the vote count shows Hernando de Soto of Avanza País with 14.6%, Rafael López Aliaga of Renovación Popular with 13.1% and Keiko Fujimori of Fuerza Popular with 12.4%. After the electoral flash, Fujimori offered candidate Hernando de Soto, with whom she would dispute the second round, "to work together," and added that she will confront the left wing represented by candidate Pedro Castillo.

From the main headquarters of Peru Libre in Tacabamba, in the province of Chota, supporters of Castillo come to celebrate the results. "This is an expression of the people," said leftist candidate Castillo leftist candidate Castillo in a brief speech this Sunday.

"Dear Peruvian people, dear compatriots, dear teachers of Peru, first of all I would like to greet the most forgotten peoples of my homeland, greet the men and women who are in the last corner of the country, greet those who are there in the corners of the homeland where there is no presence of the State. Today the Peruvian people have just had the blindfold removed from their eyes," said Castillo. 

For its part, the Congress will host eleven benches. Acción Popular and Perú Libre have the majority of seats, both with 10.7 percent, while Fuerza Popular is in second position with 9.5 percent of the votes. They are followed by Renovación Popular with 8.8%, Avanza País with 8.4%, Alianza para el Progreso with 7.9%, Juntos por el Perú with 7.7%, Somos Perú, with 6.4%, Victoria Nacional, which would have 5.7% of the votes, Podemos Perú, with 5.6%, and finally Partido Morado, with 5.4%.

The scenario for a second round further polarizes the situation of the country, facing the possibility of finding itself deciding between Pedro Castillo, a radical leftist candidate, and possibly Keiko Fujimori, in coalition with the ultra-conservative right-wing parties. The fragmentation of the Congress continues to be one of the factors that will determine the development of parliamentary work and the relationship with the Executive.

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