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The battle to become Peru's next president

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The Humala-Fujimori runoff is likely to be as polarizing as it will be nasty.

Ms. Fujimori, the daughter for former President Alberto Fujimori, had 23 percent of the votes with three-quarters of the votes counted. She led the third-place finisher, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, a former finance minister and World Bank economist, by three points. Peru’s media has declared that the lead is too large for Mr. Kuczynski to squeak by her.

The recent frontrunners, former President Alejandro Toledo and former Lima Mayor Luis Castañeda finished with 15.2 and 10.8 percent of the votes, respectfully. Both men saw their support cut in half in the past month. The other five candidates in the race collectively polled less than 1 percent.

Humala, a former army colonel, is classified as a left-wing radical by his adversaries, including most of the mainstream press. One of his biggest pitfalls, for voters is his personal friendship with Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez. Voter concern about those Chávez ties were brought up often among people waiting in line to vote on Sunday. Perhaps in response to such concerns, Humala told the foreign press on April 8 that he has no problems with Chávez, “but we do not accept the [Venezuelan] model.”

Analysts say Ms. Fujimori needs to prove to voters that she is mature enough to govern – her age is mentioned often by voters – and, most importantly, that she will actually be the one to govern. A large percentage of voters polled say they fear that her father, who is serving a 25-year sentence on human rights and corruption charges, will be in charge if she wins.

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