Peru poll goes down to the wire as last votes are counted

Election officials in Peru are counting the last remaining votes from Sunday's presidential poll.

With 99.5% of the votes counted, former World Bank economist Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has a 0.23 percentage point lead over his rival, Keiko Fujimori.

Both candidates have called for calm and say they are awaiting the final results.

Election officials say counting was delayed by votes coming in slowly from overseas and the remote Amazon region.

River journey
The last ballot boxes arrived from Hamburg, in northern Germany, on Wednesday evening, election officials said.

They said almost 900,000 Peruvians living abroad had been eligible to vote.

Votes cast in the Peruvian Amazon were transported for large stretches by boat.

Ballot boxes from the Apurimac and Ene valleys, where remnants of the Maoist rebel movement Shining Path are still active, had to be flown out for security reasons.

The latest tally of votes is available at the Peruvian electoral commission (ONPE) website.

Outgoing President Ollanta Humala urged the authorities "to deliver the results in the quickest and most-responsible manner".

The closeness of the result came as a surprise after polls in the run-up to the election had suggested Keiko Fujimori had a comfortable lead over Mr Kuczynski.

'Risk to democracy'
Analysts said corruption scandals in Ms Fujimori's Popular Force Party may have dented her support since April, when she comfortably won the first round of voting.

She is the daughter of Peru's former President, Alberto Fujimori, who is in jail for crimes against humanity.

BBC News |

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