Fujimori gains ground in tight Peruvian presidential vote

Published 9:49 am Tuesday, June 7, 2016

LIMA, Peru — The nail-biter race for Peru’s presidency tightened Tuesday as the daughter of imprisoned ex-president Alberto Fujimori gained ground on her rival thanks to votes trickling in from remote rural areas and embassies abroad.

Former World Bank economist Pedro Pablo Kuczysnki’s razor-thin lead over Keiko Fujimori shrank to fewer than 48,000 votes early Tuesday morning. With tallies from more than 95 percent of polling stations counted, Kuczynski had 50.1 percent of the votes compared with Fujimori’s 49.9 percent.

While two quick counts showed Kuczynski prevailing in a tight contest, still being counted are the ballots cast by 885,000 Peruvians eligible to vote abroad, the majority living in the United States. They turned out massively for Fujimori in the 2011 election.

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About 1,200 handwritten tallies of some 360,000 votes were being disputed and were sent to a special electoral board for review, Mariano Cucho, the head of Peru’s electoral authority, told RPP Radio on Tuesday

Both candidates remained silent while awaiting final results even as their aides began to jockey for positions in an eventual alliance in congress, where Fujimori’s Popular Force won a solid majority of 73 of 130 seats. Kuczynski’s fledgling movement will have just 18, fewer than the country’s main leftist alliance.