The left candidate in an election PeruPedro Castillo cemented his supremacy in the Andean presidential race, according to a survey published on Sunday (25), with nearly double support from his conservative opponent Keiko Fujimori.
Castillo, who has pledged to draft a new constitution to give the country more control over the economy, won 41.5% support in the survey by the Institute of Peruvian Studies (IEP), published in La Repubblica.
Radical left professor Pedro Castillo and right-wing populist candidate Keiko Fujimori head for the second round of the presidential election in Peru – Photo: Montage G1 / Reuters
Fujimori, daughter of former President Alberto Fujimori, who supports the preservation of the Peruvian free market model, got 21.5%, the longest distance between them in polls so far, ahead of the second round, scheduled for June 6. All research shows that Castillo has a huge advantage.
The elections will be an important turning point for Peru, the world’s second largest copper producer, as the sudden growth of Castillo, a landmark gaining support in the country’s poorest regions, shook the market.
Peru’s economy, which for years grew at one of the highest rates in Latin America, fell 11.12% last year due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus, which is now starting to come back strongly and overwhelm the country’s health services.
The IEP survey, conducted by phone with 1,367 people between April 17 and April 21 with a margin of error of 2.65%, showed that 21.2% of people said they invalidated the ballot or voted “blank”, while 15.7% were still undecided.
Castillo has tried in recent days to calm market concerns, saying he would not nationalize companies and firmly reject the comparisons made between him and other left-wing leaders in Latin America.
Castillo, 51, was a big surprise in the first round of presidential elections in Peru, a country where voters are so disillusioned with traditional politicians.
The candidate was born in the small Andean town of Bunia, in the province of Chota, where residents usually wear a wide-brimmed hat, as Castillo has worn on his travels and even in the only presidential debate in the campaign. As a union leader, he went in the first round to vote on horseback in the Andean region of Cajamarca, where he lives.
The candidate promised to abolish the Constitutional Court, the nation’s highest court, because he says he advocates for “grand corruption” and has argued that if he becomes president, he will also shut down Congress if he does not accept his plans, even though he was. Later, more moderate, saying that this decision requires the consent of the residents.
Castillo is also very socially conservative: he rejects legalizing abortion, opposes a “gender focus” in education and has been reluctant to recognize the rights of sexual minorities.