After a neck and neck race, the final results are now in: Peruvians elected 77-year-old economist Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (also known as PPK) as president. He received approximately 50.12 percent of the vote, and his competitor, Keiko Fujimori, received 49.88 percent – a difference of roughly 39,000 votes out of 18 million. PPK had a strong rebound from the April primary election in which he lost to Fujimori by 19 percentage points. After trailing in polls throughout the campaign, PPK won on the back of allegations that certain Keiko Fujimori campaign insiders were allegedly linked with drug cartels. A “No Keiko” movement also helped consolidate votes.
Kuczynski will enter office on July 28, Peru’s Independence Day, following a fierce campaign and an unlikely victory. His administration will have to cope with the fact that Fuerza Popular, Fujimori’s party, won an absolute majority in Congress, putting into question PPK’s ability to implement reforms. Without legislative support, what can we expect from his presidency? How will he reconcile demands for increased spending with slowing economic growth? Will his economic plan be enough to jumpstart the economy?
PPK will have an uphill battle
as rising crime rates, a slowing economy, and an opposition Congress will ensure his first months in office will not be easy.