Keiko Fujimori tops Peru first-round vote: exit polls

Peru's presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori casts her vote during presidential election, at a polling station at a classroom in Lima, Peru, on April 10, 2016.
Peru's presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori casts her vote during presidential election, at a polling station at a classroom in Lima, Peru, on April 10, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

LIMA (AFP) – Keiko Fujimori, daughter of an ex-president jailed for massacres, won Peru’s first-round presidential vote on Sunday (April 10) but not by enough to avoid a runoff in June, exit polls showed. 

Fujimori won 37.8 per cent of the vote according to a survey by Ipsos and 39.1 per cent according to another pollster, CPI – short of the majority needed to win outright. 

Her two nearest rivals were virtually tied in second place in the Ipsos poll with 20.9 per cent for center-right candidate Pedro Pablo Kuczynski and 20.3 per cent for left-wing lawmaker Veronika Mendoza.  CPI gave Kuczynski a thin lead in second place with 19.7 per cent to 18.8 per cent for Mendoza. 

Official results expected over the coming hours will determine which of them will face Fujimori in a runoff on June 5. 

Some 23 million Peruvians were called to vote in an election marred by alleged vote-buying and deadly attacks.  The 40-year-old daughter of former leader Alberto Fujimori survived attempts to ban her from the race and mistrust over her father’s legacy to top the polls in her bid to become Peru’s first female leader. 

Observers complained that the electoral process was undermined when half the candidates dropped out or were excluded from the running under a tough new electoral law.  Fujimori and other leading candidates were accused of wooing voters with gifts. She and Kuczynski were cleared of the charges.