- Candidates had tied in most polls since first vote in April
- Fujimori went on the offensive in a televised debate on Sunday
Keiko Fujimori took the lead in Peru’s presidential race for the first time after weeks of polls showing her tied with rival candidate Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.
Fujimori had 53 percent support while Kuczynski had 47 percent in a simulated vote by Ipsos published by America Television on Sunday. The company questioned 1,823 people from May 19-20 and the margin of error was plus or minus 2.3 percentage points.
The former congresswoman edged closer to victory in the June 5 runoff vote, even after the second most senior official in her party resigned following media reports that he’s being investigated for money laundering by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. In the first presidential debate since the first round of voting on April 10, Fujimori said Sunday that her government would be tough on crime and accused Kuczynski of primarily looking after the interests of big business. She also questioned his commitment to Peru after he spent eight days in the U.S. last month as she continued campaigning.
“Our plan for government was born from our travelling the country, identifying problems and listening to the population,” Fujimori said during the televised debate. “Mr Kuczynski’s vision is elitist and fundamentally from transnational corporations.”
Fujimori won the April 10 vote with more than double the votes of Kuczynski, while lacking the 50 percent she needed to win outright. In the first polls following the ballot, Kuczynski doubled his support by garnering votes from those opposed to Fujimori, whose father Alberto Fujimori is in jail for human rights abuses and corruption committed during his 1990 to 2000 government.
In a simulated vote by Ipsos a week ago, Fujimori had 50.2 percent compared with 49.8 percent for Kuczynski.