LIMA (Reuters) – Peru’s right-wing presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori, who will compete head-to-head with socialist Pedro Castillo in a second-round ballot in June, said on Wednesday the election will be a battle between “markets and Marxism”.
In her first statement since Sunday’s first-round election, the daughter of imprisoned former president Alberto Fujimori urged Peruvians to leave behind the politics of “hatred and revenge” that have hobbled both the economy and voter’s trust in government.
Fujimori, 45, qualified for the run-off with 13.4% of Sunday’s vote, behind leftist upstart Castillo, 51, who shocked the Andean nation by taking 19.1%, according to a Peru electoral service tabulation of 99.4% of ballots cast.
Fujimori said in a televised speech she would shun a class war with Castillo, whose positions on an array of issues are almost entirely opposed with hers.
“I propose Peruvians shake hands, not engage in a class war that has done so much damage to all humanity,” she said.
Castillo, a previously little-known union leader and teacher, often wears a cowboy hat and rode on a horse to vote.
He has said he plans to rewrite the Constitution and give the state more control over some industries, including the sprawling mining sector which produces the world’s second-largest amount of copper after neighboring Chile.
He called the race with Fujimori “a battle between the rich and the poor, the struggle between the … master and the slave.”
Fujimori rejected that characterization, calling for a fresh debate of ideas.
“Instead of opening more wounds, we have to heal them,” Fujimori said.
She said her policies would generate wealth and bolster businesses of all sizes, and rejected the idea of nationalizing industry.
“I propose a model of a social market economy, not Marxism or communism,” she said.
(Reporting by Marco Aquino; Writing by Dave Sherwood; Editing by Christopher Cushing)