By Maria Paz Salas
SANTIAGO, Chile (AA) – Peru will elect a new president Sunday and the margin between the two candidates has significantly narrowed, according to recent polls that anticipate a close finish.
Keiko Fujimori, who was leading the race weeks ago by 5 percentage points, is now statistically tied with former World Bank economist Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, affectionately called PPK.
According to the pollster GfK, Fujimori has 50 percent support to 49.7 percent for Kuczynsi, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.3 points.
Fujimori, 41, is the daughter of jailed former President Alberto Fujimori.
The election is her second opportunity to become the first female president of the country.
In 2011, she lost the race to Ollanta Humala amid criticism about the rule of her father, who led the country from 1999 to 2000. Critics say repression, corruption and the erosion of democratic rights in order to hold onto power characterized his government.
The elder Fujimori is serving a 25-year sentence for corruption and crimes against humanity.
But despite detractors, her Popular Force party won an absolute majority in congressional elections in April.
Fujimori has tried to distance herself from her father’s legacy and has traveled around the country with a message of reconciliation, social investment and fight against crime.
PPK, 77, is a former economy minister and has campaigned on his experience, closeness to the entrepreneurs and elite education.
The Peruvians For Change party candidate won support of opponents of Fujimori, including noted celebrities such as Nobel Prize recipient Mario Vargas Llosa.
On his second attempt at the high office, PKK has highlighted his role as a minister in the government of Alejandro Toledo during the last decade when his policies helped Peru’s economy to recover.
PPK studied at Oxford and Princeton universities and was able to obtain a U.S. citizenship, which he renounced last year.