LIMA – Popular Force presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori won a plurality in Peru’s presidential election on Sunday, but she will have to face off against one of her rivals in a run-off, according to exit polls released after the close of the precincts.
It is not clear at this stage who Fujimori will have to face in the run-off to succeed President Ollanta Humala since former government minister Pedro Pablo Kuczynski and lawmaker Veronika Mendoza are in a technical tie for second place.
According to the polling firm Ipsos, Fujimori received 37.8 percent of the votes, while Kuczynski, with the rightist Peruvians for Change, or PPK, party garnered 20.9 percent and Mendoza, with the leftist Broad Front, got 20.3 percent.
The private polling company GfK, meanwhile, said that Fujimori secured 39.9 percent of the votes, Kuczynski 20.6 percent and Mendoza 20.3 percent, while CPI reported that the daughter of imprisoned former President Alberto Fujimori received 39.1 percent to Kuczynski’s 19.7 percent and Mendoza’s 18.8 percent.
The winner will be sworn in on July 28, when Humala will finish his five-year term.
The unofficial tallies are the first to be released after the polling places closed on Sunday, with some 22 million Peruvians being called upon to vote.
All the polling firms show that Kuczynski and Mendoza are, at present, in a technical tie for second place, and the public must wait for word from the ONPE national elections office to begin issuing the official vote count figures around 9 p.m. local time.
ONPE chief Mariano Cucho acknowledged that some polling places had to open late and this will cause a delay in the vote count, the final version of which will be released on Monday.
The Defense Ministry deployed about 50,000 troops to provide security at the country’s more than 12,000 polling places and more than 500 observers from national and international organizations were on hand to monitor the election at different sites around the country.
The offices of president, two vice presidents, 130 congressmen and 15 Andean Parliament representatives are all in play in the election.