LIMA (Reuters) - Centrist economist Pedro Pablo Kuczynski is expected to beat Keiko Fujimori, the conservative daughter of a jailed former president, in Peru’s June 5 presidential runoff election, according to an Ipsos poll published on Sunday.
The first poll published since both candidates made it through the first round of voting earlier this month showed Kuczynski getting 44 percent of the vote compared to Fujimori’s 40 percent.
Peru’s free-market model would be maintained in either a Kuczynski or Fujimori presidency, as both candidates favor the economic system that has been in place for 25 years.
“What this poll tells me is that our economic proposal is good, our social investment proposal is good and that we haven’t communicated well enough our proposal for citizen security and we are going to communicate it,” Kuczynski said after the results were published.
Fujimori, whose father Alberto was Peru’s authoritarian leader throughout the 1990s, has been seen as vulnerable in the second round vote after she fell far short of the 50 percent of votes needed for outright victory in the first ballot.
In the first round, 40 year-old Fujimori garnered 40 percent support while Kuczynski, 77, a former World Bank economist widely known by his initials ‘PPK’, secured 21 percent.
Veronika Mendoza, a 35-year-old leftist lawmaker, fell short with 19 percent of the votes, and Fujimori and Kuczynski now face the challenge of wooing left-wing voters.
Mendoza told Reuters late on Wednesday that it was too soon to say if her party might eventually endorse a vote for Kuczynski to defeat Fujimori, whom she deemed “the greater evil” in the runoff.
The son of European immigrants, Kuczynski is a pro-business economist and a former finance minister. Compared with Fujimori, he is considered to be more moderate on some social issues.
Fujimori’s chances could be handicapped by many Peruvians dislike for her father.
According to Ipsos, 42 percent of those polled said they would definitely not vote for Fujimori in the runoff, while 32 percent said the same of Kuczynski.
Ipsos says its poll of 1,822 people, conducted between April 13-15, has a 2.3 percentage point margin of error.
Reporting by Ursula Scollo; Writing by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore