Peruvians vote on Sunday in a referendum that could empower a sweeping overhaul of the country’s judiciary and a loathed political class following a string of scandals that have laid bare the corruption at the heart of Peru’s public institutions. The referendum comes at the end of a year of hitherto unimaginable political upsets beginning when the president Pedro Pablo Kuczysnki was forced to resign over corruption allegations in March and followed by the jailing in November of his principal adversary, the powerful opposition leader Keiko Fujimori. Four former Peruvian presidents are now under investigation for taking bribes from the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, which has admitted to paying out $30m in Peru – just a fraction of the estimated $800m the firm has admitted to handing out as kickbacks across Latin America, making it the continent’s biggest-ever corruption scandal.
Articles about voting issues in the Republic of Peru.
Five days after Peru’s presidential election, the daughter of imprisoned former president Alberto Fujimori has conceded defeat, putting an end to an agonising wait for results in one of the most closely contested votes in the country’s history. Keiko Fujimori, the frontrunner throughout the campaign, said on Friday that she accepted “democratically” the electoral body’s results which indicated her rival, the conservative economist Pedro Pablo Kuczynski had won by a hair’s breadth: The margin of victory was 42,597 votes out of more than 17m ballots cast. Flanked by members of her political party, Fuerza Popular, Fujimori blamed her defeat on the outgoing government, business leaders and the media, who she said had backed a campaign which “sought and awoke hatred and fanaticism, feelings which resent democracy”.
It could hardly have been closer. As the final votes were counted in the run-off ballot for Peru’s presidency, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, a liberal economist, seemed to have defeated Keiko Fujimori by just 39,000 out of almost 18m votes, a margin of 0.2%. After months in which Ms Fujimori had led opinion polls, this was a surprising reversal. It shows how deeply divided Peru is about the legacy of Ms Fujimori’s father, Alberto, who ruled it as an autocrat from 1990 to 2000; he is serving long prison terms for corruption and complicity in human-rights abuses. With such a narrow mandate, Mr Kuczynski’s first task when he takes office on July 28th will be to show that he can govern a country facing an economic slowdown and characterised by frequent social conflicts. It helps that he has few real policy differences with Ms Fujimori.
Patience was wearing thin as ballots in Peru’s presidential election continued to trickle in on Wednesday, three days after a contest whose results remained too close to call. Front-runner Pedro Pablo Kuczynski’s running mate met Wednesday with electoral authorities to request they speed up the counting. Meanwhile, dozens of supporters of his rival Keiko Fujimori held a demonstration Tuesday night outside the electoral board to denounce what they said is fraud, even though neither the candidate nor her campaign have presented any evidence to back up their supporters’ claims. Electoral officials said they hope to wrap up their work on Thursday when the last ballots cast at embassies abroad arrive in Lima. But most experts said it’s already mathematically impossible for Fujimori to make up the 42,000 vote difference separating her from Kuczynski.
Peruvian presidential candidates Pedro Pablo Kuczynski and Keiko Fujimori settled in for a photo finish as election officials slowly counted the final ballots to determine the outcome of one of the tightest races ever here. When the result will be final, however, is uncertain as an electoral board will need to rule on disputed ballots that could decide the close election, and as votes trickle in from rural areas and expatriates elsewhere. “That’s the million-dollar question,” Fernando Tuesta, a political analyst and former head of Peru’s election agency, said when asked how long it would take. “There isn’t a date for that.” On Tuesday, the election agency said Mr. Kuczynski, an economist, was leading with 50.17% of the votes, compared with 49.83% for Ms. Fujimori, the daughter of jailed ex-President Alberto Fujimori. The agency said it had processed 98.7% of the votes. However, that didn’t include some votes that were disputed by the political parties and sent to the electoral board. The margin between the two candidates stood at about 47,000 votes. About 22 million Peruvians were registered to vote; the agency said 17.8 million had cast ballots.
Peru’s presidential election hung in the balance late on Monday, with the economist Pedro Pablo Kuczynski holding a narrow lead over Keiko Fujimori, daughter of a disgraced former president. With 95.36 per cent of votes counted, Mr Kuczynski was marginally ahead with 50.2 per cent, while Ms Fujimori was on 49.8 per cent. In an election where 17m Peruvians cast ballots, Mr Kuczynski’s lead was a little over 59,000 votes. But given the remoteness of some parts of Peru, as well as votes coming from overseas, the final result could be delayed until later this week. Ms Fujimori has lost a lead over the past week that had been as high as 8 percentage points after Mr Kuczynski ran a campaign focused on her father Alberto Fujimori. The once autocratic president is now serving time in prison for crimes against humanity.
Less than a decade after Peru imprisoned former President Alberto Fujimori, voters will decide on Sunday whether to put his 41-year-old daughter back in the presidential palace where she once served as his first lady. Keiko Fujimori has a slight lead over her rival, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, ahead of the run-off vote, helped by her tough stance on crime and years of campaigning in poor villages in the populist style of her right-wing father. But with pollster Ipsos estimating a fifth of voters tend to remain undecided until election day, Kuczynski, a 77-year-old former investment banker, could stage a late surge. It is Fujimori’s second bid to become Peru’s first female president. Her critics fear a return to the days when her father ruled the Andean nation by decree, despite her repeated promises to respect the democratic institutions he trampled before his government collapsed in a vast corruption scandal in 2000. Alberto Fujimori, the son of Japanese immigrants, is serving a 25-year sentence for graft and human rights abuses committed during a crackdown on a bloody leftist insurgency.
Thousands took to the streets of Peru Tuesday to protest the presidential candidacy of Keiko Fujimori, daughter of former President Alberto Fujimori. The former president is currently in prison for authorizing death squads and corruption during his decade in power between 1990 and 2000. Incumbent President Ollanta Humala is ineligible for elections this year due to constitutional term limitations. This leaves the candidacy to Fujimori, 41, and pro-business conservative and former World Bank economist, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski. Kuczynski was expected to join the protests but canceled the plan in a last-minute decision. Reuters reported Kuczynski as stating that it would be “undemocratic” for him to join calls to stop Fujimori.
Peru’s election, wrought with allegations of fraud and the questionable application of campaign rules that shrouded the final weeks before voting day in uncertainty, has garnered a stern report from observers, who have called for deep reforms to the country’s electoral system, local media reported Tuesday. The Organization of American States mission found that Sunday’s general elections were threatened by political insecurity for voters brought on by the last-minute disqualifications and lasting uncertainty about who would be on the ballot up to 48 hours before polls open. The mission called for an overhaul of the disqualifications system, arguing that in its current form, electoral authorities are not able to guarantee the political rights of voters or candidates.
Peru: Keiko Fujimori and former finance minister appear headed for a runoff in presidential race | Los Angeles Times
Keiko Fujimori, daughter of former President Alberto Fujimori, and former Finance Minister Pedro Pablo Kuczynski appeared headed for a June runoff to determine the winner of Peru’s presidential race, partial election results indicated Monday. Keiko Fujimori received 39.5% of the votes cast in Sunday’s election, while Kuczynski received 22.1%, with more than two-thirds of the ballots counted, according to Peru’s electoral commission, known by its Spanish initials ONPE. About 83% of the first-round ballots were counted by late Monday, officials said. Kuczynski’s lead over candidate Veronika Mendoza, a socialist member of Congress who had about 18% of the vote, looked to be enough to ensure him the runoff spot against Fujimori on June 5, analysts said. A winning candidate needed 50% of votes plus one to avoid the second round.