One month ahead of the run-off to hold in June, Peru presidential race has tightened as the candidates give one another only a tiny margin ahead while battling for the key votes in poor, rural regions and in convincing a large group of undecided voters.
This is as Keiko Fujimori, who was following behind socialist Pedro Castillo, has closed the gap by two percentage points up her initial votes garnered at a voting intention poll by Ipsos Peru two weeks earlier.
In the new poll, Fujimori, a three-time presidential candidate, is coming 34% behind Frontrunner Castillo, a schoolteacher largely unknown to most Peruvians prior to the April first-round vote, who is still maintaining his lead with 43%.
A separate poll by Datum International also indicated a tightening race.
Socialist Castillo’s support is strongest in the poorest regions of Peru, and ranges between 46% and 60%, the poll showed, while Fujimori, polls strongest in the richest, but less populous, areas of the country.
“The great battle will be there, in the poorest socio-economic sectors,” Alfredo Torres, chief executive of Ipsos Peru, said in a television interview.
The Ipsos poll of 1,204 people conducted on April 30 with a margin of error of 2.8%, indicated that the share of undecided voters had fallen to 23%, from 27% two weeks prior. That margin still left plenty of room for surprises on June 6, the pollster said.
Fujimori is the daughter of ex-President Alberto Fujimori who is currently serving a jail sentince for human rights abuses.
She is a free-market proponent and has also pledged to distribute the country’s mineral wealth more evenly to the Peruvian people and to provide vaccines.
On the other hand, Castillo, who is more accepted by the less affluent voters, promises to amend the country’s Constitution to weaken the business elite and give the state a more dominant role in the economy.
Peru presently suffers from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic as the world No. 2 copper producer faces a high level of poverty and unemployment, and a slow, corruption-plagued vaccination program that has left many Peruvians frustrated and angry.