Latin America & Caribbean

Peru election: Keiko Fujimori leads in first round

A combination file photo shows Peru's presidential candidates (L-R) Keiko Fujimori after voting and Pedro Pablo Kuczynski arriving to vote, during the presidential election in Lima, Peru, in these April 10, 2016 file photos Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Keiko Fujimori and Pedro Kuczinski look set to go forward to the second round

Centre-right candidate Keiko Fujimori has a wide lead in the first round of Peru's presidential election with more than 80% of votes counted.

Ms Fujimori has 39.5% and looks set to face Pedro Kuczynski, a former World Bank economist, in a June run-off vote.

Mr Kuczynski has 22% while leftist Veronika Mendoza has 18%, the National Electoral Processes Office said.

Ms Fujimori, the daughter of former President Alberto Fujimori, says tackling crime is her priority.

Shadow of jailed ex-president cast over Peru polls

She is also supported by some Peruvians who credit her father with defeating the country's Maoist Shining Path rebel group.

However, other Peruvians have said they would never support anyone associated with her father, who is currently serving 25 years in prison for ordering death squads to massacre civilians during his attempts to end the insurgency.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Leftist Veronika Mendoza is trailing in third place

The Shining Path rebel group was largely dismantled in the 1990s after a decade-long conflict that killed about 69,000 people.

However, rebels estimated to number in the hundreds still control areas of jungle in a coca-growing region of the country and the Peruvian authorities say they have joined forces with drug gangs.

Remnants of the group are thought to have been behind a deadly attack on a vehicle carrying election materials in a remote coca-growing region ahead of the election.

Peru is one of the biggest coca leaf and cocaine producers in the world, according to the US authorities.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Peruvians will have to vote in a second round as no candidate got more than 50% of the votes

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