Peru election: Pedro Castillo gains last-minute lead

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Left-wing candidate Pedro Castillo has edged into the lead in a dramatic twist in Peru’s presidential election.

With 94% of votes counted, Mr Castillo overtook his right-wing rival, Keiko Fujimori, who is running for the presidency for the third time.

He has a lead of 0.1 percentage point, with just over 25,000 votes currently separating the two candidates.

They have both called for calm while the count is under way. This is Peru’s most polarised poll in recent history.

Ms Fujimori had been leading since the official count began, but as results from rural areas – where support for Mr Castillo is strong – started to come in, the gap between them narrowed.

The new president will be taking on a country in crisis as Peru struggles with a recession and the highest coronavirus death rate per capita in the world.

Peruvians have had years of political turbulence, with four presidents in the past three years. Seven of the country’s last 10 leaders have either been convicted of or investigated for corruption.

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