Peruvians didn’t so much vote for Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, they voted against Fujimori:
IT COULD hardly have been closer. As the final votes were counted in the run-off ballot for Peru’s presidency, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, a liberal economist, seemed to have defeated Keiko Fujimori by just 39,000 out of almost 18m votes, a margin of 0.2%. After months in which Ms Fujimori had led opinion polls, this was a surprising reversal. It shows how deeply divided Peru is about the legacy of Ms Fujimori’s father, Alberto, who ruled it as an autocrat from 1990 to 2000; he is serving long prison terms for corruption and complicity in human-rights abuses.
Kuczynski, a former World Bank executive and ex-prime minister of Peru who has also served as finance and energy ministers, ran for president the first time in 2011. He came in third in that race, behind Fujimori and current President Ollanta Humala. He had refused to renounce his American nationality, which had become a campaign issue.
Known as PPK, he has since renounced his American citizenship, although he is married to an American woman and his children live in the United States.
When confirmed by election officials, Mr. Kuczynski will take office for a five-year term on July 28, replacing President Ollanta Humala.
He has promised to boost economic growth by cutting taxes and increasing infrastructure spending. He has also said he would expand access to running water to some 10 million Peruvians without access to it in their homes, while curbing corruption and crime, a top concern.
John M. Carey and Steven Levitsky at the WaPo: Fujimori’s party already controls Peru’s congress. Here’s why observers are worried.
Whoever wins Sunday’s runoff, Peru’s executive and legislative branches will have a very different relationship. Kuczynski, a political liberal whose allies hold only 18 of 130 seats, would have to negotiate an arrangement with Popular Force – a situation that could make Peru very difficult to govern. Although Fujimorismo’s economic program differs little from Kuczynski’s, its cooperation may require concessions in other areas — such as the pardon (or move to house arrest) of the disgraced Alberto Fujimori. And if the 77-year-old Kuczynski were to lose public support, as has each of his three predecessors, the Fujimorista majority could be tempted to remove him early.
We’ll see how this turns out.
En español: Bayly habla del anunciador disléxico,