Peru election: Pedro Pablo Kuczynski's lead narrows

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
With the presidential election on a knife edge, Peruvians will have to wait longer than expected for the final result

Counting continues following Sunday's presidential election in Peru with the two candidates neck and neck.

With 95.5% of votes counted, 77-year-old former World Bank executive Pedro Pablo Kuczynski had a lead of 0.28 percentage points over Keiko Fujimori.

Election officials said the votes of Peruvians living abroad still had to be processed and that it could take a few more days to declare a winner.

Before the election, polls had suggested Ms Fujimori would win.

The latest tally of votes is available at the Peruvian electoral commission (ONPE) website.

'Risk to democracy'

Analysts said corruption scandals in Ms Fujimori's Popular Force Party may have dented her support since April, when she comfortably won the first round of voting.

She is the daughter of Peru's former President, Alberto Fujimori, who is in jail for crimes against humanity.

Keiko Fujimori

Image source, AP
Image caption,
Keiko Fujimori wants to become Peru's first female president
  • Born in Lima in 1975
  • Her father, Alberto Fujimori, was president of Peru from 1990 to 2000 and is now in jail
  • Served as First Lady from 1994 to 2000 after her mother and her father divorced
  • Studied business administration in the US
  • Was a member of Congress from 2006 to 2011 for Lima
  • Campaigned on a promise of being tough on crime

In the run-up to the second round, Mr Kuczynski portrayed Ms Fujimori as a "risk to democracy", reminding voters of her father's crimes and authoritarian style of government.

But many Peruvians, who credit her father with defeating the Shining Path rebel movement, were drawn to her promise of being tough on crime.

Mr Kuczynski, who is an ex-Wall Street financier, said he would use his international financial experience to promote economic growth.

He has the support of prominent figures such as Nobel-Prize-winning novelist Mario Vargas Llosa and left-wing candidate Veronika Mendoza, who came third in the first round of voting.

But he has faced scrutiny over his close relationship to Peru's business elite.

Pedro Pablo Kuczynski

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Pedro Pablo Kuczynski is an economist who wants to revive Peru's economy
  • Born in Lima in 1938
  • His Jewish father, a doctor, fled Berlin after Adolf Hitler came to power; his Swiss mother taught literature
  • Won a scholarship and studied politics, philosophy and economy at Oxford University
  • Worked for the World Bank and Peru's Central Bank
  • Says the main thing he believes in is equality
  • Campaigned on a promise to create a "transparent government" to deliver clean drinking water and revive Peru's economy

Both candidates called for calm as the votes were being counted.

Most of the votes from Peruvians abroad were cast in the United States, where Mr Kuczynski campaigned in April.

US-based Peruvians overwhelmingly backed Ms Fujimori in the last presidential election in 2011 against leftist candidate Ollanta Humala, who narrowly beat her to the presidency.