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Updated: June 5, 2011 03:21 IST

Peru all set for run-off

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Left-wing nationalist Ollanta Humala and his right-wing rival Keiko Fujimori were neck-and-neck in the battle for Peru's presidency, according to polls released 48 hours before Sunday's vote.

Two polls obtained by AFP showed opposing results, after a bitter, polarised campaign between the race's two most extreme candidates.

Leftist Mr. Humala (48) would win 51.8 per cent, compared to 48.2 per cent for 36-year-old Ms. Fujimori, according to a poll of 1,800 people by Lima's Catholic University. Datum institute favoured Ms. Fujimori by 50.6 to 49.4 per cent over Mr. Humala, in a survey of 4,820 people. Both results were still a technical tie. “The country is divided in two equal parts. We've never seen such a tight election in Peru's history,” said a commentator.

Both candidates concern a large part of the electorate: Ms. Fujimori for the shadow of her authoritarian ex-President father, Alberto Fujimori, who is jailed on human rights and corruption charges, and Mr. Humala for suspicions of close ties with Venezuela's anti-liberal President Hugo Chavez. Mr. Humala on Friday denied receiving nearly $12 million from Venezuela in the past six months, after former U.S. diplomat Roger Noriega repeated the accusation already made by the Fujimori campaign. “We totally reject this slander,” Mr. Humala said in Lima.

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