By Maria Paz Salas
SANTIAGO, Chile (AA) – Authorities have declared Pedro Pablo Kuczynski the winner in the Peruvian presidential election, four days after final ballots were cast.
The National Office of Electoral Processes made the official announcement Thursday, after one of the closest races in 54 years -- a contest that has since Sunday kept the country in suspense.
Kuczynski, a former World Bank economist, received 50.12 percent of the votes, while his rival Keiko Fujimori managed 49.88 percent support.
Just 41,438 votes separated the two candidates.
Fujimori is the daughter of former President Alberto Fujimori, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2009 for crimes against humanity and corruption.
There are still 173 electoral ballots, or 0.25 percent of the votes, to be counted but according to experts it is not possible for Fujimori to overtake Kuczynski.
Fujimori has not yet conceded and has not delivered any statement regarding the results.
“We want a united country, reconciled, and ready to have a dialogue. Let’s not confuse dialogue with weakness. We are going to be decisive but we will work for all Peruvians,” Kuczynski told media gathered outside his house in an exclusive neighborhood in the capital city of Lima.
The victory by the 77-year-old comes as somewhat of a surprise.
In the first round of voting in April, the leader of the Peruvians for Change party received 20 percent of the vote, while Fujimori garnered 40 percent.
Kuczynski's victory leaves little time to celebrate as his party currenty holds only 18 of 130 seats in Congress.
Keiko's party, Fuerza Popular, has the majority of seats.