Everything is so volatile and uncertain that Peruvians cannot help but hold their breath. They will have to wait maybe days to know the name of the next president. When 93% of the votes are counted, the National Office of Electoral Processes (ONPE) has reported that the leftist Pedro Castillo obtained 50.12% of the votes, against 49.87% for Keiko Fujimori.

Piero Corvetto , the highest authority of the ONPE, has recalled that no one can claim victory until all the ballots from the most remote rural areas are counted , where Castillo is much stronger than his rival, as well as the jungle and almost a million of Peruvians residing abroad. Fujimori expresses his hope in them.

The political scientist and expert on electoral issues, Fernando Tuesta, was categorical: “no one can say at this point who is going to win” the second round. He completely ruled out the danger of “electoral fraud.” Tuesta could not get out of the state of surprise: “it is the first time that an exit exit will not be decisive “.

Analyst Alfredo Torres, president of the consulting firm Ipsos Peru, whose exit poll on Sunday night anticipated the numbers that keep the country in suspense, assured that the election will be decided “by very few thousand votes.”

The parity is so close that the Lima daily El Comercio asked the contenders for ” scrupulous respect for the electoral results .” Accepting the outcome, he recalled, “is, therefore, accepting the will of the country.” And while the polarization of the second round “leaves a half of the population dissatisfied, defeat is as much a part of this type of situation as victory.”

For the editorial of El Comercio, accusing that “the process was rigged does nothing more than unnecessarily dent our democratic system.” This is an attitude that Fujimori “should assume with special determination” in the event that his misstep is confirmed.

The technical draw was expected. The police won the streets of Lima to avoid any breach of the curfew imposed by the pandemic . Both the daughter of the jailed autocrat, Alberto Fujimori, and the teacher and left-wing union leader, called their followers to calm as it died down on Sunday. The leader of Fuerza Popular asked to wait prudently for the final word from ONPE.

“I ask our auditors to be attentive to defend each vote . I call on the Peruvian people from all corners to attend the streets in peace to be vigilant in the defense of democracy,” said his rival.

Analysts agree that hours of tension and vigils are coming. “We have an absolute statistical tie. If the difference in the quick count is less than two points, we will not yet be able to define a winner. We will have to wait for the counting of all the votes,” acknowledged Alfredo Torres, from Ipsos itself. It will be necessary to compute, one by one, the votes of the cities, the “deep” Peru and those cast abroad.

“In this process, the computations may vary, ” he warned. But at the same time it is expected that, given such a short distance between the candidates, the challenges will break out. At the same time, the null, white vote must be counted, which can be decisive, as well as that of the members of the tables.

The end of this film will be one of extreme and moody suspense. And there the candidates who have promised to respect the verdict of the polls will have the floor.

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