Sunday, April 10, 2016

Peru: Unofficial Results Show Keiko Forced Into Presidential Runoff (Updated)

Unofficial quick counts of the votes in Sunday’s Peruvian presidential election shows gave Keiko Fujimori the advantage but not enough to prevent a runoff on June 5th.

According to Ipsos, the daughter of imprisoned former president Alberto Fujimori received 39.1% of the vote with 71.1% of the vote tabulated. Keiko got 38.5% backing with 77% of ballots counted based on an analysis from GfK. As a result, she would gain a plurality but not the majority required to be rewarded with an outright win.

Earlier in the evening, exit polls from both Ipsos and GfK showed economist and ex-Prime Minister Pedro Pablo Kuczynski in a statistical dead heat for second place with legislator Verónika Mendoza. Yet the quick count results have given Kuczynski a thin but widening margin of roughly 3% over Mendoza.

Update (April 11th): A Keiko-Kuczynski runoff will surely be held in about two months following an official count of nearly 83% of votes.
Polls in the weeks prior to today’s election have demonstrated rising support for Mendoza, the 35-year-old leftist candidate of the Frente Amplio who has pledged to “tighten environmental supervision of mining companies and…proposed ditching Peru's constitution for one that enshrines access to water as a right, protects the environment and weakens a ‘corrupt’ business elite.” Yet a CPI study conducted from March 25-27 demonstrated that the former energy and economics minister commonly known as PPK would be the only hopeful able to beat Keiko in a one-on-one electoral matchup.

In 2011, Keiko narrowly lost to president-elect Ollanta Humala after he softened the fiery rhetoric in his own electoral loss five years prior by promising to enact market-friendly measures coupled with greater attention to social concerns. Much like Humala, Keiko in her latest bid took great pains to change her image in relation to her prior strong affinity to her father. She backed away from her pledge to grant a presidential pardon to Alberto is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence for human rights abuses and corruption. Keiko also publicly condemned one of the most controversial actions during Alberto’s decade of authoritarian rule: the 1992 “self-coup” where he ordered the military to dissolve Congress and curbed civil liberties. That didn’t stop an estimated 30,000 people in Lima last Tuesday to rally against Keiko’s candidacy and actions by electoral officials to disqualify two of her strongest rivals.

The next president-elect will inherit a country that has seen rapid economic growth and a steady drop in coca cultivation. The successor to Humala does have some challenges to face, however:
After the election, the president's main task will likely be to manage the slowing Peruvian economy. Peru relies heavily on mineral exports, and the faltering global commodities market has driven its gross domestic product growth rate down from 9.1 percent in 2008 to around 2.8 percent in 2015. The slow economic growth will likely continue for several years while China, Peru's main export market, retools its economy. Periodic risk of social unrest among the country's rural population, who could protest against mining interests or controversial legislation, could be another challenge for the next leader.
YouTube Source – CCTV America

Online Sources including Update (English) - Fox News Latino, Reuters, InSight Crime, Stratfor, CBC, ABC News, Peru this Week, Americas Society/Council of the Americas

Online Sources (Spanish) – Terra Noticias, La Republica

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