Fujimori Gains Ground in Peruvian Presidential Vote

Fujimori Gains Ground in Peruvian Presidential VoteFujimori Gains Ground in Peruvian Presidential Vote

The nail-biter race to become Peru’s next president tightened, as the daughter of imprisoned ex-president Alberto Fujimori gained ground on her rival, thanks to a larger haul of votes trickling in from remote rural areas and embassies abroad.

Former World Bank economist Pedro Pablo Kuczysnki’s razor-thin lead over Keiko Fujimori shrank to fewer than 60,000 votes late Monday night. With tallies from more than 95% of polling stations processed, Kuczynski had 50.2% of the votes compared with Fujimori’s 49.8%, AP reported.

While two quick counts showed Kuczynski prevailing in a tight contest, still to be counted are the ballots of 885,000 Peruvians eligible to vote abroad, the majority living in the United States, and who turned out massively for Fujimori in the 2011 election.

About 1.4% of the handwritten tallies collected at polling stations are being disputed and were sent to a special electoral board for review.

Both candidates remained silent while awaiting final results even as their aides began to jockey for positions in an eventual alliance in congress, where Fujimori’s Popular Force won a solid majority of 73 of 130 seats. Kuczynski’s fledgling movement will have just 18, fewer than even the country’s main leftist alliance.

Kuczynski, 77, managed to climb back by abandoning his above-the-fray, grandfatherly appeal and attacking his younger, politically sharper rival as a risk to Peru’s young democracy.