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Weekly Report - 15 April 2021 (WR-21-15)

PERU: Radical left faces off against authoritarian right

The first round of presidential elections in Peru ran to form with an unorthodox result. A weak party political system and widespread public disillusionment with the political class are not new phenomena in Peru, where outsiders have long thrived. But even by Peru’s standards, the fragmentation of the vote ahead of the elections on 11 April was exceptional. With so little dividing all 18 candidates and so many undecided voters it was always a possibility that somebody would come under the radar to secure a berth in the second round on 6 June. And that is precisely what happened. Peru now faces a deeply polarised run-off pitting candidates on the far left and right of the political spectrum against one another; an invidious choice between Pedro Castillo, a Marxist rural schoolteacher, who defied the polls to finish first, and Keiko Fujimori, the heiress to an authoritarian dynasty who has been charged with money laundering.

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