LIMA – Unofficial President-elect Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said on Thursday that he is eager for dialogue after winning Peru’s closest election in decades.
“We take this virtual judgment with much humility, because Peru faces great challenges. We want a united, reconciled country, ready for dialogue,” the 77-year-old former economy minister told supporters and the media.
With 99.77 percent of the ballots counted, Kuczynski has a lead of 50.12 percent to 49.87 percent over Keiko Fujimori, daughter of imprisoned former President Alberto Fujimori.
Keiko Fujimori, 41, who led in all the polls ahead of last Sunday’s runoff, has refused to concede.
The results will not be definitive until authorities resolve challenges to the tallies from 173 precincts, Fujimori spokesman Pedro Spadaro said Thursday.
Kuczynski, a veteran of Wall Street and the World Bank who served as economy minister during the 2001-2006 administration of Alejandro Toledo, appears to have benefited from the bad memories many Peruvians have of Alberto Fujimori’s 1990-2000 rule, characterized by corruption and human rights abuses.
Though he and Keiko Fujimori are both on the political right, Kuczynski picked up support from centrists and even leftists, including Veronika Mendoza, who finished third in the first round of presidential voting on April 10.
As president, Kuczynski will have to contend with a Congress where Fujimori supporters hold 73 of the 130 seats, compared with just 18 for his PPK party.