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Peru is deeply divided over the final results of the presidential vote awaiting election news

Pedro Castillo has little advantage over Keiko Fujimori, after an expert said it was “one of the narrowest elections in the country.”

The Peruvians are still waiting for their final results the country’s presidential election, Left-wing union leader Pedro Castillo maintains a thin edge in the days following a deeply polarized vote by Keiko Fujimori on the right.

With 99.8 percent of the vote counted on Wednesday evening, Castillo had 50.19 percent support compared to Fujimori’s 49.8 percent.

Sunday’s spill occurred in Peru amid years of political instability, which is also exacerbated COVID-19 infections and deaths and the economic downturn associated with the pandemic.

Castillo wins more than 67,000 of the estimated 17.4 million votes counted, but still with the votes calculated and both sides questioning the votes, it may take a few days to find out the final official result.

The the count has slowed down because the ballot boxes are being sent from abroad, as well as to the capital Lima, from more remote rural areas of Peru — the fortress in favor of Castillo.

Fujimori, the daughter of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori, has filed unproven allegations that Castillo’s supporters tried to steal votes and her group has expressed intentions to pose a legal challenge to the outcome.

Castillo’s party has strongly denied the claims and election observers, including the ONPE election body and the Organization of American States, have said they have voted clearly.

On Wednesday, the Peruvian army pledged to “respect the will of the people expressed at the polls,” as calls were made on social media to prevent the armed forces from seizing power from Castillo.

“In Peru, as in all democracies, the election results must be respected,” said Jose Miguel Vivanco, executive director of the American division of Human Rights Watch. he tweeted on Wednesday evening.

Vivanco said allegations of fraud must be protected by “serious evidence” and that international human rights law requires that “all votes be counted and respected.”

Hundreds of voters from both sides took to the streets to protest in favor of their candidate, mostly peacefully and sometimes with musicians and dancers.

Peruvian presidential candidate Pedro Castillo gathers in front of Castillo’s Free Peru party headquarters in Lima on June 6 [File: Liz Tasa/Reuters]

Both candidates had previously agreed to respect the result of the vote.

The winner will receive the COVID-19 and the world-driven economy highest coronavirus mortality rate per capita. Two million Peruvians have lost their jobs in the pandemic and nearly a third live in poverty, according to official data.

“It is unlikely that Fujimori will be able to overtake Castillo at this time,” David Sulmont, a professor of sociology at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru and former head of the polling station, told Reuters.

“It’s one of the tightest elections in the country,” he added. “The margin may change, but I think Castillo will be the winner.”

Castillo said on Wednesday that party observers called his victory a final agreement.

He thanked the embassies and governments of Latin America and other countries “on behalf of the people of Peru” for their congratulatory messages “for their victory.”

No government has officially acknowledged Castillo’s victory, although former Bolivian President Evo Morales has sent a message of “congratulations on this victory.”

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