Monday, June 06, 2016

Kuczynski ahead of Fujimori in Peru, but it’s still too close to call

They are still counting votes in Peru, but early indications are that the economist is leading the former president’s daughter:
"A partial count released by the government on Sunday night put Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, 77, with about a 1 percent advantage over Keiko Fujimori, 41, whose father, Alberto, ran the country in the 1990s. Officials said the result amounted to a technical tie and said they would keep counting throughout the night."
It will probably take a few days to count all of those rural votes outside Lima, the capital.    
The BBC is reporting 50.52% for Kuczynski and 49.48% for Fujimori, with 88% of votes counted.    
We would say “too close to call,” although most people in Peru are saying Kuczynski won.
This is a fascinating election, because the two finalists are center-right.  They are both proposing free-market principles now that the left went down in the first round.    
At the same time, it is really a referendum on the Fujimori years, Fujimori being the former president who is in prison for corruption.  We would call it “Fujimori fatigue”!
Peru has been a good mark on the region’s economy, as reported by CNN:
Peru is having a moment in the sun while it’s raining just about everywhere else in Latin America.
Its economy grew more than any other in Latin America last year: 3.3%. And it could be the top performer again in 2016, according to IMF projections.
Peru’s growth stands in stark contrast to the historic recessions underway in Venezuela, an oil powerhouse, and Brazil, the biggest economy in the region. Both 
are suffering under political instability, rising inflation, populist policies and public outcry for new leadership.
“Their models didn’t work. [There’s] a shift away from populism,” in Latin America, Peru’s finance minister, Alonso Segura, told CNNMoney recently.
It will take a few days to settle this election.  The best part is that another Latin American state is rejecting “socialismo y populismo.”  This is the best we can say about Peru, no matter who wins!
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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