Castañeda maintains optimism despite drop in polls

Luis Castañeda

Presidential hopeful and former Lima mayor Luis Castañeda is still optimistic that he can make it to a run-off vote despite a struggling campaign that has seen him drop to fourth place in recent opinion polls.

“We are relaxed and optimistic. We have to wait for the true poll on April 10 and see that we will make it to the second round,” daily El Comercio reported Castañeda as saying.

Two opinion polls released this week show Castañeda in fourth place with about 14% support as a result of being overtaken by Ollanta Humala, the nationalist candidate of Gana Peru.

Part of his fall in the polls is attributed to the release last week of a report by Lima’s new mayor, Susana Villarán, providing details of unfinished or poorly executed infrastructure projects and increased budgets during his eight-year administration of the city, and the questionable use of the International Migrations Organization as supervisor and executor of most of the projects, for which it received close to S/.50 million in commissions.

While Castañeda’s support has slipped since late last year when he was leading the polls, the recent surveys still show that if he makes it to a second round, he could possibly defeat any of the other four main candidates – former President Alejandro Toledo, Congresswoman Keiko Fujimori, Humala, and ex-Prime Minister Pedro Pablo Kuczynski. 

“No one wants to get to the second round with Castañeda,” the ex-mayor of Lima said. “Does Toledo want to go in with me? No, because I would beat him, as well as Humala and Keiko.”

A second round will be held on June 5 if no candidate receives more than 50 percent plus one of the vote in the April 10 general election.

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