The leftist Pedro Castillo, a teacher from the rural areas of Peru, is holding a very slim lead over the right wing Keiko Fujimori as the counting reaches its final stages after the voting on Sunday for president.
Socialist Pedro Castillo, who has roiled markets and miners with plans to shake up the copper-rich country’s politics, held a slim lead of some 50.2% ahead of right-wing rival Keiko Fujimori on 49.8%, with almost 96% of the votes tallied.
The leftist candidate, the son of peasant farmers, had surged late in the count, driven by an energized rural vote beyond capital Lima. Fujimori, the scion of a powerful political family, started to close the gap on Tuesday, however, as overseas votes came in that favor her.
Initially the stock market fell as it seemed that Castillo might win but recovered somewhat later.
However, Castillo has deeply problematic views on some major social issues.
Facing off against neoliberal Keiko Fujimori in elections on Sunday, Castillo has vowed to nationalize Peru’s vast mineral resources, to expel foreigners who commit crimes in the country, and to move towards reinstating the death penalty.
One thing unlikely to change under a Castillo presidency is the Peruvian state’s socially conservative character: he is Catholic and vehemently opposed to gay marriage, elective abortion and euthanasia.
He frequently quotes from the Bible to drive home his points.
This shows once again how someone being on the right side of some major issues does not imply that that they will be on the right side of others, and why we should never give blank checks to politicians but always look at each issue separately.