Peru election: Jewish doctor's son leads

With nearly 90% of vote counted, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has a hair's breadth edge over Keiko Fujimori - vote count to go down to the wire.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Pedro Pablo Kuczynski
Pedro Pablo Kuczynski

Peru's presidential vote faced a tight finish Monday as near-complete results gave ex-banker Pedro Pablo Kuczynski a slight lead over rival Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of a jailed former president.

Both have vowed to heal divisions dating to the violent period of rule by Fujimori's father Alberto in the 1990s. He is in prison for corruption and for massacring alleged terrorists.

With 89.53% of ballots counted, Kuczynski had 50.52% against 49.48% for Fujimori, the national elections office said.

Kuczynski is the son of a Jewish doctor from Germany, while Fujimori is the granddaughter of Japanese immigrants.

Kuczynski, best known by his initials PPK, earlier urged his supporters to wait for the full official results, but was confident of victory.

"We are hoping to have a government of consensus. No more fighting and confrontation," he said, waving from a balcony. "Ole, ole, PPK!" yelled the crowd.

Fujimori also urged her supporters to sit tight for what looked like a long vote-counting process.

"We are going to wait cautiously because the results will be coming in all night from the regions, from overseas, and the rural vote from deepest Peru. For that reason we are optimistic," she said. "We have seen the vitality of Peruvian democracy and that fills me with pride."

Fujimori aimed to become Peru's first woman president, with a segment of voters hoping she will be tough like her father in fighting a wave of violent crime in Peru, a major cocaine-producing country.

Others distrust her because Alberto Fujimori dissolved congress and killed opponents with death squads.

Peru's 1980-2000 civil conflict involving leftist insurgents killed an estimated 70,000 people.

Both candidates are right-leaning, US-educated politicians. They have both vowed to fight crime and create jobs in the nation of 31 million people.

AFP contributed to this report.