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Former Economist Has Edge in Peru's Presidential Election

  • VOA News

Peruvian presidential candidate Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, accompanied by his running mates Martin Vizcarra (L) and Mercedes Araoz, gestures to followers in Lima, Peru, June 5, 2016.

Peruvian presidential candidate Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, accompanied by his running mates Martin Vizcarra (L) and Mercedes Araoz, gestures to followers in Lima, Peru, June 5, 2016.

A 77-year-old former World Bank economist has a slight lead over the daughter of disgraced former president Alberto Fujimori in Peru's presidential runoff election.

With a little more than half the votes counted in early Monday, Pedro Kuczynski has 50.6 percent of the vote, compared to Keiko Fujimori's 49.4 percent.

"We are going to have a government built on consensus," said Kuczynski . "No more low blows or fights."

Keiko Fujimori urged her voters to sit tight and wait. "We're going to wait with prudence because all night votes will be coming in from the provinces, from abroad, and from the rural voters of deep Peru," she said.

Fujimori had been leading in public opinion polls until recently, but the scandal around money laundering allegations against a senior aide has taken a toll, transforming the race into a repeat performance of Fujimori's 2011 bid when she lost by a razor's edge to outgoing President Ollanta Humala.

In addition, many Peruvians have vowed to never vote for anyone associated with her father. She has tried to distance herself from her father's authoritarian rule of Peru from 1990 to 2000.

Both candidates are right-leaning conservatives. Kuczynski endorsed Fujimori when she ran for president in the 2011 election against Humala.

If Fujimori wins the runoff, she would become Peru's first female president.

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