The jury of the national elections will have the difficult task of defining who will be the president of the bicentenary of Peru.
The number of counting chips observed and the nullities deduced by the parties delayed the proclamation of the winner.
Fuerza Popular candidate Keiko Fujimori explained at a press conference that information had been received which would constitute polling station fraud.
For this reason, legal recourse has been presented to declare the invalidity of the votes of the 802 polling stations, which constitute approximately 200 thousand votes.
This increased the post-election tension.
The small difference in votes between the two candidates, less than 60,000 in favor of Pedro Castillo at the time of writing, opens up the possibility of changing the trend from a distance.
The short distance between candidates in the second round is not uncommon in Peru: Pedro Pablo Kuczynski won the elections by 41,000 votes in 2016.
Keiko Fujimori said in this campaign that his party leaders complained that they did not question the vote at that time.
The results counted by the National Office of Electoral Processes show Castillo, of the Peru Free political party, with 50.165% of the vote, and Keiko with 49.835%.
The second round is between two candidates who reached the lowest percentages on record to make it to the second round: Castillo got 15.38% and Keiko, 10.90% of the vote in the first round, held on April 11.
The presidential elections had 18 candidates running. The growth in Castillo’s voting intentions occurred last week ahead of the election.
Although Castillo has been no stranger to politics since his candidacy for local government in 2002, he has no experience in popular elected positions.
Keiko was a congressman from 2006 to 2011 and was a presidential candidate in 2011 and 2016, reaching the second round in both elections.
In 2016, he led the large opposition caucus in Kuczynski.
The Peru Libre party, led by Castillo, presented a government plan that alerted sectors defending the market.
He proposed to convene a Constituent Assembly with the main objective of modifying the economic chapter of the 1993 Constitution.
He announced a new model, which would replace the social market economy with a popular economy with markets.
Among the proposed measures are the nationalization of extractive activities and the revision of contracts, as well as a law regulating the media.
In the period leading up to the second round, certain measures were clarified, in particular a tax on profits, the abolition of certain tax exemptions and the renegotiation of fiscal stability contracts with large companies.
On the other hand, Fuerza Popular proposed constitutional amendments to the chapter on the system of government, reform of the social security system, improvement of social services and tax reform.
In the second round, he proposed the distribution of 40% of the mining gun collected as tax on the income of mining companies.
As a result of these measures, the campaign polarized not only in the state-market axis, but also in the communism-anti-communism which was attributed to the Peru Libre proposals and to the connection of some of its members with radical left groups.
On the other hand, the Fujimorism-anti-Fujimorism axis, which has defined elections in the recent past.
The debate on the rights and inclusion of minorities did not have space, as the two candidates agree on a very conservative position.
Although the results are close at the national level, they show a very heterogeneous geographical distribution.
Castillo won in 16 of the 27 constituencies, the poorest. Keiko won in Lima, in the north of the country and in the new constituency of Peruvians abroad.
The new funding rules prohibited radio and television advertising, except for those contracted by the state.
Initially, the pandemic limited the face-to-face campaign, so networks played a major role.
Mainly Facebook, TikTok, Twitter and WhatsApp have been the scene of vote retention, where supporters have become activists.
Differences between the first and second round
Voting in Peru is compulsory up to the age of 70. However, turnout declined in the last election.
Despite the pandemic, voter turnout was similar to that of the extraordinary legislative elections of 2020.
In the first round, 70% of voters voted, while in the second round, 74.6%.
The sum of blank and null votes in the first round was 29.1%, dropping noticeably in the second round to 6.49%.
The vote of Peruvians living abroad increased between the first and second rounds, from 22.85% to 36.4%.
The bicentennial presidency
The National Jury will take a few more days to decide.
At the same time, demonstrations were announced by supporters of the two candidates, vigilant to respect their vote. Political apathy seems to have been left behind.
The result will be a presidency with little legitimacy and a very fragmented and polarized Congress.
The urgent agenda is to get out of the dynamic of confrontation between the Executive and the Legislature, which has intensified in recent years, to fight against the pandemic, which has claimed more than 180,000 lives, and its economic consequences, to bridge the social gaps and build a consensus that will allow the development of this agenda.