Monday, June 06, 2016

PPK Likely Winner in Peru (Updated)

As of now, Peru's Oficina Nacional de Procesos Electorales has counted 89.5% of the vote, giving 50.52% to Pedro Pablo Kuczynski and 49.48, with a difference of just 164,417 votes between them. Participation was 82.5%, which is obviously quite high. As Otto notes, this could switch but it's very unlikely. He made a big comeback.

Assuming this holds, a few quick thoughts:

First, Keiko Fujimori's party has 73 of 130 seats in the unicameral Congress (John Carey and Steven Levitsky explain how the electoral system was responsible for the majority) so PPK cannot just come in and fulfill promises.

Second, Peruvians don't like their presidents, who struggle to get approval ratings above the 20s (Peruvians don't like political parties much either). It's important to remember that national GDP numbers don't tell you much about how Peruvians feel. In fact, sources of GDP growth like mining are also sources of major civil conflict. So PPK faces a major uphill battle immediately.

Third, I have to figure this will get lumped into the "decline of the pink tide" thing. But Peru has never fit that well--Ollanta Humala wasn't the leftist he was expected to be.

Update at noon: with 92.5% counted, the lead is tighter. PPK at 50.32%, Fujimori at 49.68%. The difference is 103,383 votes.

Update on 6/7/16 at 8:15 am: with 96.7% of the votes counted, it is even tighter. PPK is at 50.15% and Fujimori is at 49.85%. Now the vote difference is just 50,866. It ain't over 'til it's over.

Update on 6/8/16 at 8: 20 am: now we're at 99.37%. PPK holds at 50.15% and Fujimori at 49.85%. The vote difference also holds at 50,102. As the L.A. Times notes:

About half the remaining votes come from rural areas where Fujimori enjoys much support, while many of the rest are from foreign countries where Kuczynski is thought to have an advantage among expatriates. Analysts said Tuesday they thought Fujimori would collect a majority of remaining votes but possibly not enough to overtake her opponent.  
For Fujimori to achieve a tie, she would have to have 73% of the remaining votes. Given where the remaining votes [to be counted] are coming from, she should be able to make up some ground, but just a little,” said Ivan La Negra, a  political science professor at Catholic University in Lima. 

Down to the wire, probably tomorrow.

Update on 6/9/16 at 9:40 am. We're at 99.99% and PPK is 50.12% with Fujimori at 49.89%. The vote difference is 39,201, which is amazingly tiny. The ONPE says it will have a final result this weekend. You have to imagine there will disputes about votes, but for now the candidates have mostly been silent as everyone waits.


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