The Latest: Partial results give slim lead to Kuczynski


LIMA, Peru (AP) — The Latest on Peru’s presidential election (all times local):

21:10

Preliminary official results in Peru’s presidential election point to a razor-thin advantage for a former World Bank economist over the daughter of imprisoned ex-President Alberto Fujimori.

With 36 percent of voting acts counted, Peru’s electoral authority says Pedro Pablo Kuczynski had 50.6 of the votes cast Sunday, compared with 49.4 percent for his rival Keiko Fujimori. Two quick counts by local pollsters show Kuczynski winning by around 1 percentage point, which is still within their margin of error.

Fujimori won the first round of voting in April by nearly 20 percentage points but has seen her strong lead in opinion polls disappear in the final stretch as a string of scandals inside her Popular Force party have underscored voter fears that her victory would revive the corruption and criminality associated with her father’s authoritarian rule in the 1990s.

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20:25

Peruvian presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori is putting on a brave face, despite two quick counts of the vote that suggest she was trailing, dancing to her campaign theme song on a flat-bed truck and telling supporters to await official results expected later Sunday.

“We’re going to wait with prudence because all night votes will be coming in from the provinces, from abroad and from the rural voters of deep Peru,” she said. “This is a tight result without a doubt.”

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19:40

If Pedro Pablo Kuczynski prevails in Peru’s presidential runoff, at age 77 he would the country’s oldest president at the time of taking office.

He wouldn’t be the oldest Latin American head of state at the time of taking office, however. At least three regional strongmen have taken office later in life although none of them for the first time. Among them are Juan Domingo Peron who occupied Argentina’s presidency for the second time at age 78 and the Dominican Republic’s Joaquin Balaguer who took office for the third time at 80.

(This entry is corrected to reflect that at least three, not just one, Latin American president took office at an older age than Peru’s Kuczynski).

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18:50

Quick counts of ballots predict a razor-thin result in Peru’s presidential election with a former World Bank economist apparently enjoying a slight edge over the daughter of imprisoned ex-President Alberto Fujimori.

Local pollster Ipsos-Apoyo says Pedro Pablo Kuczynski would get about 50.5 percent of the votes cast Sunday, compared with 49.5 percent for his rival Keiko Fujimori. Another quick count by GfK showed Kuczysnki winning by a slightly larger margin.

But both results are within the polls’ margins for error of plus or minus 1 percentage point, meaning it is still too close to call.

Official results weren’t expected until after 9 p.m. local time.

Fujimori won the first round of voting in April by nearly 20 percentage points but has seen her strong lead in opinion polls disappear in the final stretch as a string of scandals inside her Popular Force party have underscored voter fears that her victory would revive the corruption and criminality associated with her father’s authoritarian rule in the 1990s.

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16:05

Two exit polls show that a former World Bank economist looks likely to eke out a slim victory over the daughter of imprisoned ex-President Alberto Fujimori in Peru’s presidential runoff

Local pollster Ipsos-Apoyo says Pedro Pablo Kuczynski would get about 50.4 percent of the votes cast Sunday, compared with 49.6 percent for his rival Keiko Fujimori.

A survey by pollster Gfk showed Kuczynski winning by more than 2 points while a third poll gave Fujimori a small victory.

Official results weren’t expected until after 9 p.m. local time.

Fujimori won the first round of voting in April by nearly 20 percentage points but has seen her strong lead in opinion polls disappear in the final stretch as a string of scandals inside her Popular Force party have underscored voter fears that her victory would revive the corruption and criminality associated with her father’s authoritarian rule in the 1990s.

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11:10

Both presidential candidates have had breakfast with supporters in what’s become an election-day tradition in Peru.

Pedro Pablo Kuczynski and wife Nancy Lange came to a home in a working-class district in the capital and urged voters to consider what’s at stake for Peru’s democracy.

Keiko Fujimori ate at a rural-themed restaurant in Lima, accompanied by her husband Mark Villanella and their two children. She urged Sunday’s voters not to be afraid amid a last-minute push by Kuczynski to associate his rival with the crimes of imprisoned ex-president Alberto Fujimori.

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10:55 a.m.

President Ollanta Humala is celebrating a new benchmark in Peru’s democracy as he casts his ballot in Sunday’s presidential election.

He says his successor will be the fourth straight democratically elected president. That’s a feat Peru hasn’t seen since its independence from Spain in the early 19th century.

Humala leaves office besieged by allegations of corruption and with low approval ratings that prevented him from having a chosen successor elected. Peru does not allow immediate re-election.

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10:40 a.m.

Regardless of who wins today’s election, Peru’s next first spouse will be an American.

Pedro Pablo Kuczynski met his wife Nancy Lange while working in the U.S. and they managed a private equity fund together in Miami. Lange is a relative of Hollywood actress Jessica Lange.

Keiko Fujimori met her husband Mark Villanella while studying abroad in the U.S. after she had already served as Peru’s first lady following her parents’ divorce. For a while, he was working as a consultant to IBM in Peru.

Both Lange and Villanella are considered close advisers to the candidates but have assumed a low profile on the campaign trail.

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8:45 a.m.

Voting is just getting underway in Peru, but some of the 3 million Peruvians living abroad have already cast ballots.

Around 885,000 Peruvians are eligible to vote abroad, representing about 3.8 percent of the electorate. If the results are close and turnout abroad is high, ballots cast in the 234 voting stations at embassies and consulates worldwide could prove decisive.

Both candidates spent money courting Peruvians abroad and Pedro Pablo Kuczynski even traveled to the United States for a campaign event in Paterson, New Jersey. More than 500,000 Peruvians live in the U.S.

Keiko Fujimori is counting on strong support among the roughly 50,000 Peruvians living in Japan, many of them like her descendants of immigrants to Peru. Her father, Alberto Fujimori, fled to Japan at the end of his turbulent presidency in the 1990s and is still a revered figure in the Asian country.

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8:00 a.m.

Polls are open in Peru’s presidential election. Around 23 million people are eligible to vote at over 5,000 polling stations spread across the country.

Voting is mandatory in Peru about 10 percent of voters usually cast blank or destroyed ballots to express their disregard for the process.

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