Race for mayor of Peru's capital is neck and neck among two conservatives -exit poll

FILE PHOTO: Peru's presidential candidate Rafael Lopez Aliaga of Renovacion Popular party participates in a presidential candidates debate, in Lima, Peru March 31, 2021. REUTERS/Sebastian Castaneda/Pool

LIMA (Reuters) - An Opus Dei businessman and a retired military officer accused of murdering a journalist entered a technical tie in Sunday's run to become Lima's next mayor, according to an exit poll carried out by the firm Ipsos for Peru's local elections.

Rafael Lopez Aliaga, a hotel businessman who claims to practice celibacy and is known as "Porky*," a famous cartoon character, led the vote with 26.8%, the pollster said.

Stepping on his toes, retired military officer Daniel Urresti, who is on trial for allegedly participating in the murder of a media worker in 1988, has obtained 25.8% of the votes.

The result of the poll broadcast by America Television shows a technical tie.

Former soccer player George Forsyth was in third place with 19.4% of the votes.

Insecurity, poverty and scarce public services are among the main issues to tackle for the upcoming mayor of the municipality of 10.5 million residents.

The first partial official results of the electoral office are expected after 10 p.m. (0300 GMT on Monday), in a process where some 13,000 authorities are set to be elected.

The results in the mining regions, which benefit from high revenues driven by taxes and royalties, will also be key since Peru is the world's second largest copper producer.

(Reporting by Marco Aquino)

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