Local and Regional elections today
Peru is holding local and regional elections today for 12,692 posts. There are 25 regional presidents, 274 regional councillors, 1,647 district mayors and 10,526 provincial and district councillors to be elected. Around 21,395,747 citizens are eligible to vote and the 97,288 polling stations will be open from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. local time.
Perhaps the most interesting contest of the election will be for the Mayoral position in Lima. Here, former Mayor Luis Castañeda (2003 – 2010) is standing on about 54% support and is expected to defeat incumbent Susana Villarán who is on 13%.
Another contest that could prove interesting is that in the Cajamarca region in the north of the country. This is a Department where there have been problems with mining companies and local communities. Current Regional President Gregorio Santos Guerrero leads the polls with 33% support whilst his closest opponent Osías Ramírez is on 21%.
The election has been subject to violence with Shining Path rebels killing two policemen in the south-western Department of Ayacucho. Two candidates had been killed earlier in the campaign in the coca-growing region. The electoral commission has identified 141 potential flashpoints across the country where violence could break out.
Second round runoffs are predicted for around 11 of the 24 Departments. Voting in Peru is mandatory and a winning candidate has to get more than 30% of the vote to avoid a runoff.