‘Fu­ji­morismo’ De­feated… But Still Pow­er­ful

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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)

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