Kuczynski defeats Fujimori in second round of Peru presidential election

World Today

Presidential candidate Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, center, and one of his two running mates Mercedes Araoz, right, leave a restaurant in Lima, Peru, Tuesday, June 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

Peruvian economist Pedro Pablo Kuczynski edged out his rival Keiko Fujimori in the second round of Peru’s presidential election, the National Office of Electoral Processes (ONPE) confirmed on Thursday afternoon.

CCTV America’s Dan Collyns reports from Lima, Peru:

After a long four-day count, Kuczynski from the Peruvians for Change (PPK) edged out Fujimori, from Popular Force, by a wafer-thin margin, winning by 50.122 percent to 49.878 percent. The vote count percentage is 99.825.

About 23 million Peruvians voted during the election. According to Peru’s election law, a candidate claiming a simple majority of votes can become the new president. Local analysts say although the remaining 0.18 percent of votes will be calculated by the weekend, the situation may not change.

Kuczynski, 77, once held several posts in the Peruvian government and was previously a candidate for president in 2010. However, he failed to qualify for the second round.

Kuczynski has already said he is open to the possibility of house arrest for imprisoned strongman Alberto Fujimori, the father of his opponent.

The president-elect told Semana Economica in an interview published Friday that if lawmakers pass a bill giving older inmates like Fujimori the right to house arrest, he would sign it. Keiko Fujimori’s party will control congress.

Alberto Fujimori is serving 25 years for corruption and supporting death squads during his authoritarian rule in the 1990s.

Keiko Fujimori conceded defeat Friday afternoon.

In this year’s presidential campaign, Kuczynski advocated for less limitation on private investment, lower income tax and more investment in infrastructure.

“I think his political views are good. When he served as the minister, he was good and accumulated rich experience. I think he will be a good president,” said Carlos, a Lima resident.

But there are some Peruvians who are not satisfied with the election result.

“I think he only focuses on areas close to him, like the provinces on the plateau. Young people there don’t receive enough education and their resources are not good enough. They also need more economic support. I think he needs to focus on this area in future,” said Cecilia, another Lima resident.

The new president will take the oath of office on July 28 from President Ollanta Humala for a mandate lasting until 2021.

Story by the Associated Press and CCTV+

Dan Collyns has more on Fujimori’s concession Friday

Dan Collyns has more on Fujimori\'s concession Friday.

Dan Collyns has more on Fujimori's concession Friday.