‘Fujimorismo’ Defeated… But Still Powerful
Is finally official: Pedro Pablo Kuczynski won Peru’s presidential elec- tions by the thinnest of leads, and Keiko Fujimori once again just barely missed becoming president – although her party holds a solid majority in Congress, which means it will have a strong influence during the next administration.
With all of the votes counted, the national election office, ONPE, reported Thursday afternoon that the 77-year-old Kuczynski was ahead with 50.121 percent, against the 41-year-old Fujimori’s 49.879 percent.
The difference was 41,438 votes, which makes the triumph of the centre-right candidate of the Peruanos por el Kambio (PPK) party irreversible, even though some ballots were sent for review.
In the 2011 elections, Fujimori, the candidate for the right-wing Fuerza Popular, was defeated by a narrow margin, when nationalist President Ollanta Humala beat her in the runoff by 51.45 percent to 48.55 percent.
The near-tie in the Sunday Jun. 5 runoff election has kept the country and the candidates’ campaign teams on edge, waiting for the ONPE to announce the result when 100 percent of the ballots had been counted, although analysts had clarified that it was impossible for the daughter of, and political heir to, imprisoned former president Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000) to overcome the slight difference.
Among the last ballots to be counted were the ones coming in from Peruvian voters in Germany, where Fujimori took aaround 18 percent of the vote and Kuczynski reached 51 percent, in the first round of the elections, on Apr. 10.
On Jun. 2, Mendoza, who came in third in the first round, urged her voters to cast their ballots for Kuczynski, to block the return of Fujimorismo to the country.
Fujimori’s father is serving a 25-year sentence for corruption and crimes against humanity.
These votes from rural Peru were Fujimori’s last hope, and all the way up to the release of the official ONPE bulletin, she maintained that they could turn the results around.
Political scientist and university professor Fernando Tuesta told I that actually, the results from the first round of voting had made it clear that the votes from abroad and from isolated communities would not significantly modify the general tendencies.
But while voters once again kept Fujimori from reaching the presidential palace, her party will be able to influence the direction taken by the country, from the single-chamber legislature, when the new government takes office on Jul. 28.
On Apr. 10, Fuerza Popular won a strong majority in Congress: 73 out of 130 seats, followed by Mendoza’s Broad Front (20), and Kuczynski’s PPK (18). (IPS)