Peruvian elections appear to be a dead heat in poll

A new opinion poll indicates that the daughter of imprisoned former president Alberto Fujimori has narrowed the gap with leftist former army officer Ollanta Humala ahead of a run-off election set for June 5.

The survey, published Wednesday, says Humala leads with 39 percent of voter support, while Fujimori’s daughter, Keiko Fujimori, has 38 percent support. An earlier poll had Humala ahead of Fujimori by six percentage points. The new report is essentially a statistical dead heat.

In the first round of balloting last month, Humala won 32 percent of the vote, falling short of the 50 percent margin needed to win the election outright. Ms. Fujimori took 24 percent.

Analysts say many Peruvians question Humala’s and Ms. Fujimori’s credentials on human rights and see them as a threat to the democratic system.

Humala, who led an uprising against Fujimori’s father in 2000, lost a run-off election to current President Alan Garcia in 2006. Humala was outspoken during that campaign about his admiration for Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, but has since distanced himself from the leftist leader.

Some Peruvians distrust Ms. Fujimori because of her father, Alberto Fujimori, who is serving a 25-year prison sentence for his role in death squad killings in the 1990s. There has been concern that his daughter would try to free him if elected. Keiko Fujimori has apologized for mistakes and crimes committed while her father was in office. The older Fujimori was Peru’s president from 1990 until 2000.

Much of the presidential campaign has focused on continuing the rapid economic growth seen in recent years, while ensuring that the poor also see some of the increased prosperity.

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