Speed Reads

Peru Votes

Economist narrowly leads Alberto Fujimori's daughter in Peru presidential election

With 52 percent of the votes counted in Peru's presidential runoff election, former World Bank economist Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has a slim, 1 point lead over Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of jailed former President Alberto Fujimori. Kuczynski, 77, placed second in the first round of voting, but 41-year-old Fujimori saw her sizable lead vanish amid a series of scandals, notably charges that one of her big financial backers and the secretary general of her Popular Force party was under investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

As her lead shrank, Fujimori signed an extraordinary pledge not to pardon her father, who is serving 25 years for crimes against humanity. Alberto Fujimori was convicted of ordering death squads to massacre civilians while stamping out the Shining Path insurgency; the fact that he quashed that brutal Maoist guerrilla uprising is fondly remembered by many Peruvians, and Keiko Fujimori is drawing on that support. Much of the outstanding vote is from Fujimori-friendly remote areas where ballots won't arrive for days. Kuczynski, who has served as a cabinet minister in several previous administrations and also worked in Wall Street finance, had backed Fujimori, a fellow conservative, when she lost to outgoing President Ollanta Humala in 2011. He promises to promote economic growth. Fujimori's Popular Force won a 73-seat majority in the unicameral 130-seat congress; Kuczynski's movement won just 18 seats.

For more information, you can watch Eric Farnsworth of the Council of the Americas explain Peru's election on CNN below. Peter Weber