LIMA – Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of a former president, and Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, an economist and former prime minister, were in a technical tie in Sunday’s runoff presidential election, according to exit polls released after the precincts closed.
The Ipsos survey gave a slight advantage to Kuczynski, finding him to be leading Fujimori by 50.4 percent to 49.6 percent, respectively.
And the private GfK polling company also gave the early lead to Kuczynski, with the conservative PPK party, according him 51.2 percent to 48.8 percent for the Popular Force party candidate.
However, the private firm CPI determined that Fujimori was out in front by 51.1 percent to Kuczynski’s 48.9 percent.
In all three cases, the difference in the exit polls’ percentages are within the surveys’ error margins, thus putting the candidates in a technical tie.
The firms announced that they would issue their first “rapid-count” polling results at 7 p.m., while national election authorities will provide their first official results around 9 p.m. after 20 percent to 30 percent of the ballots have been counted.
Polling places for the presidential runoff closed at 4 p.m. after a quiet election day with no major incidents except for delays in opening some precincts and the presence of illegal election signs and other propaganda around some voting sites.
At least 16 people were arrested for breaking the election law, 11 for publicly consuming alcoholic beverages – something that is banned on election day – and the rest for assorted minor violations.
Both Fujimori, 41, and Kuczynski, 77, are aspiring to succeed current President Ollanta Humala – who has been in office since 2011 – for the 2016-2021 term.
Some 23 million people are eligible to cast ballots at the 77,307 precincts set up in Peru and abroad.
A total of 884,924 Peruvians living overseas are eligible to vote at 3,083 precincts in cities around the world.
The winner will be sworn in on July 28, when Humala will finish his five-year term.
About 100,000 National Police officers and military personnel were deployed across Peru, where several areas were under a state of emergency, to provide security for polling places.
The elections are being observed by more than 400 members of missions from the Organization of American States, or OAS, the European Union and other organizations, whose observers participated in the first round of voting on April 10.
Fujimori is the daughter of imprisoned former President Alberto Fujimori, who is serving a 25-year prison sentence for human rights violations and corruption during his 1990-2000 administration.
Kuczynski, the candidate of the conservative PPK party, worked at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, or IMF, before being appointed to a series of government posts under different administrations in Peru.