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Peru's Presidential Election Cliffhanger Continues as the Very Last Votes Get Counted

With 99.5 percent of the vote counted from Sunday’s vote, former IMF official Pedro Pablo Kuczynski leads Keiko Fujimori by 0.23 points, or about 40,000 votes.
Photo by Ernesto Arias

Peru woke up on Thursday having yet to declare the winner of its presidential elections held four days prior.

With 99.5 percent of the vote counted from Sunday's runoff vote, former IMF official Pedro Pablo Kuczynski holds a 0.23 point edge over Keiko Fujimori, the right-wing daughter of the imprisoned former president Alberto Fujimori.

As the very final ballots trickle in from far-flung parts of the Andes and the Amazon, along with votes cast abroad, most experts say it is now mathematically impossible for Fujimori to claw back her tiny disadvantage of roughly 40,000 votes.


The 41-year-old former congresswoman, who was also her father's first lady in the 1990s, has so far resisted pressure to concede defeat. Earlier in the week she told Reuters that she was not going to talk about the results until "every single vote has been counted."

Kuczynski has also been almost silent throughout the post-voting cliffhanger. He told reporters that he was "lacking a little peace and quiet but doing well."

Fujimori had easily won the first round elections in April and went into the runoff campaign well in the lead. Then Kuczynski rode a groundswell of fear that a Fujimori victory would bring a return of the rampant corruption and disregard for human rights that characterized her father's governments in the 1990s.

She was also damaged by a string of scandals of her own, including the revelation that one of her closest collaborators, and key party financer, is being investigated by the US Drug Enforcement Administration for money laundering.

Since the vote Fujimori has visited her campaign headquarters daily, and some supporters have claimed that she has been the victim of fraud and demanded a recount. Kuczynski, meanwhile, has hardly emerged from his large home in the capital Lima.

Related: Kuczynski Still Has a Razor-Thin Lead Over Fujimori in Peru's Presidential Election

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