Communist candidate Pedro Castillo appears to have won the Peruvian presidential election as of Wednesday afternoon in a tight race separating him from rival conservative Keiko Fujimori by less than 0.5 percent of the vote.
Peru’s National Office of Electoral Processes (ONPE), which verifies and counts every vote, had completed 99.795 percent of the tally as of Wednesday morning local time. With over 18.5 million votes counted, including 100 percent of ballots from abroad, Castillo was holding firm with 50.206 percent of the vote to Fujimori’s 49.794 percent.
The runoff election, resulting from the presidential general election results in April, presented Peruvians with one of the starkest ideological contrasts on a presidential ballot anywhere in the world. Castillo’s Free Peru party identifies itself as socialist and progressive. The party platform openly praises communist totalitarians Fidel Castro and Vladimir Lenin. Opponents have accused Castillo of having ties to the