“The man who stands most to benefit from Pedro Pablo Kuczynski’s presidential victory in Peru may be his defeated rival’s father: imprisoned ex-president Alberto Fujimori”
Kuczynski began the task of forming a government on Friday after Keiko Fujimori conceded defeat. His margin of victory was just 0.2%. His position in Congress is even more challenging, Fujimori’s party holds 73 of 130 seats. Analysts say Kuczynski’s best chance to ease hostility could be releasing Alberto Fujimori to house arrest, freeing him from the prison where he is serving a 25-year sentence. During the campaign, Keiko Fujimori signed a pledge never to issue a pardon, but Kuczynski may be more flexible. He reiterated that he opposes pardoning Fujimori, but would sign legislation giving older inmates (including the 77-year-old Fujimori) the right to house arrest. Kuczynski’s rise to power was in many ways accidental. In February his numbers were sinking, but began rising after two stronger candidates were disqualified and fears grew that Fujimori would bring back his father’s rule. Now Kuczynski must take reins one of South America’s most ungovernable countries. The campaign left a bitter residue in part because Kuczynski accused Fujimori of being the harbinger of a “narco-state”, after it was leaked that the U.S. DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) was investigating a major donor and secretary general of her party for money laundering. Still, there are reasons why the two could find common ground on many policies. Kuczynski supported the younger Fujimori in the 2011 runoff, and both share a pro-business agenda. And if she proves obstructionist, Kuczynski can also call congressional elections.