A man casts his vote inside a voting centre at the Peruvian general elections on Sunday. More than a dozen candidates are vying for the highest office in Peru's presidential election. Photo: Carlos Garcia Granthon/ZUMA Wire/dpa
A man casts his vote inside a voting centre at the Peruvian general elections on Sunday. More than a dozen candidates are vying for the highest office in Peru's presidential election. Photo: Carlos Garcia Granthon/ZUMA Wire/dpa

(dpa) – More than a dozen candidates were vying for the highest office in Peru’s presidential election on Sunday.

None of the candidates are predicted to garner more than 10 per cent of the vote, according to opinion polls ahead of election day, making a second round run-off all but certain.

Undecided voters constitute the largest block in society.

The favourites to go into the run-off include: populist Yonhy Lescano; economist Hernando de Soto; left-wing former member of parliament Veronika Mendoza; daughter of former ruler Alberto Fujimori, Keiko Fujimori; and the ultra-conservative entrepreneur Rafael Lopez.

“I’m in good spirits,” Fujimori said outside the offices of her right-wing party Fuerza Popular, calling on candidates to accept the election results.

“I believe it is time for a change,” Mendoza said on election day at a traditional breakfast on her father’s farm in the Andahuaylillas district of southern Peru.

“These are very important elections,” Francisco Sagasti, Peru’s outgoing president, said after casting his vote. “We not only have the privilege and the right, but also the duty to go and vote.” Sagasti himself is not a candidate in the election.

The past year in Peruvian politics has been marked by a bitter conflict between the government and Congress.

First, the parliamentarians forced former president Martin Vizcarra out of office, then his successor Manuel Merino threw in the towel after fierce protests.

Currently, the South American country is led by interim President Francisco Sagasti.

After a series of scandals, the citizens’ trust in the political class has been deeply shaken: About half of the parliamentarians are under investigation for various offences.

Surveys suggest that less than half of Peruvians consider democracy the best form of government.

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