(CNN) – The first official results of Peru’s presidential elections gave right-wing candidate Keiko Fujimori a slight advantage, but the elections were too close to announce a winner early Monday.
With 85.10% of the votes counted, Fujimori had 51.01% of the votes, while the leftist candidate Pedro Castillo added 48.98%, according to preliminary figures from the National Office of Electoral Processes (ONPE) .
The turnout was 77%.
«These results are the first official data from the polling stations closest to the counting centers, that is, urban votes. An important part of the votes from rural areas and abroad has yet to be counted, “said Pedro Corvetto, head of the ONPE.
Corvetto urged Peruvians to wait for official results from the provinces.
The results are in line with pre-voting polls that showed a higher proportion of voting intentions among urban voters for Fujimori, daughter of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori. Meanwhile, Castillo, a high school teacher who never held public office, maintained a stronger appeal among rural voters.
In the last presidential elections of 2016, Fujimori lost to former president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski with 49.9% of the votes against Kuczynski’s 50.1%.
Peruvian voters went to the polls at a time of extreme political instability. Interim President Francisco Sagasti became the country’s fourth president in less than five years after Congress voted to remove popular former President Martín Vizcarra and Vizcarra’s replacement Manuel Merino resigned.
Peruvians are most concerned about how the country will recover from the pandemic, which has revealed rampant inequality that persists despite significant increases in gross domestic product (GDP) and declining average poverty rates in the United States. last decades. Both candidates have proposed reforms related to the key mining sector, but Fujimori relies on government benefit packages to attract voters, while Castillo has proposed structural changes to the economy.
Fujimori has promised massive spending to compensate every Peruvian family who lost someone to COVID-19 with 10,000 soles (US $ 2,600), plus 10,000 million soles (US $ 2,600 million) in small business loans to help the recuperation. His promises include giving free water to communities that do not have the main supply networks and granting two million property titles.
Meanwhile, Castillo promised to cancel major mining projects in Conga and Tingo María, reform the pension system, decentralize public universities and create a science and technology ministry to boost industrialization.
“We are going to recover the wealth with the renegotiation of contracts with large companies, with mining companies that take the wealth of the country,” he said. “How is it possible that in such a rich country there is so much misery, so much inequality and only the big ones profit, even people who never work?”
CNN’s Claudia Rebaza contributed to this report.