LIMA – Candidates Keiko Fujimori and Pedro Pablo Kuczynski will contest this Sunday a very close election, in which Peruvians are almost evenly divided about whether “Fujimorism” should be returned to power.
Kuczynski, 77, former economy minister in the government of Alejandro Toledo, has managed over the past few days to overcome the advantage that polls had given to Keiko Fujimori, 41, and whose results could not be published in Peru since last Sunday according to the country’s electoral law.
The two candidates, both considered “friendly” to big business, the reason why the runoff campaign had no impact in May on the Lima Stock Market, remain in a technical tie, according to the latest studies by pollsters Gfk, Datum and CPI.
In her second attempt to be elected president, Keiko Fujimori, daughter of jailed ex-President Alberto Fujimori, has presented herself as the winner in the surveys taken during the campaign, but over the past few days there has been a comeback of the anti-Fujimorism that cost her a win in the 2011 election against current President Ollanta Humala.
In a message on Friday, Kuczynski, of the Peruvians for Change party, called on Peruvians to defend democracy with their vote.
“Let’s close down this return to dictatorship, corruption and lies,” Kuczynski, also known as PPK, said on his Facebook page.
For her part, Fuerza Popular candidate Fujimori said “I reject the statement of my rival, since he not only offends my political team but also the people who support us. All this is part of a dirty war – democracy is not at risk, our democracy is solid.”
In recent days, the candidacy of Fujimori has been complicated by a report associating the ex-secretary of her Fuerza Popular party, Joaquin Ramirez, with a DEA investigation into a case of asset laundering.
The final decision on who will govern the country will be made Sunday by some 23 million Peruvians who are called to the polls to choose the successor of Ollanta Humala for the 2015-1021 term, in a country where voting is not only a right but an obligation and absenteeism is punishable with a fine.
Polls will open Sunday at 8:00 a.m. and will close at 4:00 p.m., and the first official results, with 20 to 30 percent of the vote counted, will be announced at 9:00 p.m., according to the ONPE electoral office.