Ex-cabinet chief and investment banker Pedro-Pablo Kuczynski finally won the Peruvian presidency on his second try after eking out the narrowest victory in half a century.

The 77-year-old, who came third in the 2011 elections behind Keiko Fujimori and Ollanta Humala, this time beat Fujimori by 0.2%, a bare 41,652 votes out of a 23mn electorate.

The final votes were brought to Lima Thursday by an army helicopter from a remote part of the southern Ayacucho region dominated by Maoist guerrillas and drug traffickers, a reminder of the lingering problems the next president will have to tackle. Fujimori's Fuerza Popular party, which has yet to concede, said previously it would accept the election outcome.

"Peru faces major challenges. We want a united and reconciled Peru. Let's not confuse dialogue with weakness. We're going got be decisive, but we're going to work with all Peruvians," Kuczynski told a press conference Thursday afternoon.

Kuczynski, also a former central banker and finance and energy minister, will now take part in his third government after serving under presidents Fernando Belaúnde (1980-85) and Alejandro Toledo (2001-06).

Known by his initials PPK, Kuczynski had been virtually neck-and-neck with Fujimori since the June 5 elections, but in the end apparently benefitted from endorsements by key political figures such as former leftist presidential candidate Verónika Mendoza.

"Thank you Peru! It's time to work together for the future of our country," Kuczynski had tweeted ealier.

Kuczynski's Peruanos por el Kambio movement, meanwhile, has been making plans for succession, which is scheduled for July 28.


Source: BNamericas