Presidential debate planned for April 3

The top five candidates in Peru’s presidential race have agreed to hold another debate on April 3, a week before Peruvians go to the polls, state news agency Andina reported.

Candidates participating in the debate are former president Alejandro Toledo of the Peru Posible party, Congresswoman Keiko Fujimori of the Fuerza 2011 party, the ex-mayor of Lima Luis Castañeda of the Solidaridad Nacional party, Ollanta Humala of the leftist Gana Peru party, and former prime minister Pedro Pablo Kuczynski of the Alianza por el Gran Cambio party.

The debate will be organized by NGO Transparencia and the National Society of Radio and Television. It is expected to last three hours and could be held at the National Library in Lima.

“The five candidates have expressed their interest in participating. There is an agreement on the date, there is an agreement on the discussion of ideas and proposals,” the technical secretary of Transparencia, Percy Medina, said.

The two previous events, organized by El Comercio newspaper and the National Elections Board, JNE, included all 11 candidates and were limited in their scope as far as actual debate was concerned.  

With less than three weeks before the April 10 general election, uncertainty is surrounding the race for Peru’s highest office as recent polls show that any two of the top five candidates could make it into a second, run-off vote.

The most recent poll, released on Wednesday by firm CPI, shows frontrunner Toledo’s support diving to 20.5 percent. On his heels with 20 percent support is Fujimori, the daughter of jailed ex-President Alberto Fujimori.

In third place is Castañeda with 17 percent, followed by Humala at 15.7 percent and Kuczynski at 14.9 percent.

Fujimori’s support increased almost three percentage points from a February CPI poll, Humala’s support has grown over five points, while Kuczynski has soared more than 10 points as his support in Lima surges.

The national survey was taken from March 14-19.

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