Fujimori Wins First Round Of Peru Election, Heads To Runoff | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Fujimori Wins First Round Of Peru Election, Heads To Runoff

Presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori gives the thumbs up during a news conference, in Lima, Peru, Sunday, April 10, 2016. Exit polls pointed to Keiko, the daughter of jailed former President Alberto Fujimori emerging with the most votes, though not the simple majority needed to avoid a runoff election. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)
Posted: Apr 11, 2016 at 7:56 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

The daughter of jailed former President Alberto Fujimori looked headed to victory in the first round of Peru’s presidential election Sunday and will likely face a former World Bank economist in a June runoff, preliminary results indicated.

With 20 percent of the ballots counted late Sunday, Fujimori had 38 percent of the vote. Investor-favorite Pedro Kuczynski had just under 26 percent, while leftist congresswoman Veronika Mendoza, who had made a late surge in pre-election polls, was running third with 16 percent.

Full results might not be available until Monday, but supporters of the 77-year-old Kuczynski celebrated in the streets outside his campaign headquarters after two unofficial quick counts indicated he would edge out Mendoza for the right to face off with Fujimori on June 5. Such counts have been reliable predictors of results in previous Peruvian elections.

The center-right Fujimori led opinion polls for months, but faces a competitive runoff scenario because of how polarizing a figure she is among Peruvians, who either adore her father for defeating Maoist-inspired Shining Path rebels and taming hyperinflation or loathe him for human rights abuses and ordering tanks to shut down Congress. Almost half of Peruvians surveyed said they would never vote for anyone associated with her father, who is imprisoned for human rights violations.

In a bid to project a more moderate image, Fujimori promised during her campaign not to pardon her father if elected. On Sunday night, she told supporters it was time to bury the past.

“The new political map being drawn clearly shows Peruvian want reconciliation and don’t want to fight anymore,” she said.