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svgadminsvgJune 7, 2016svgNews

Son of Jewish doctor declares victory in Peru

Ex-Wall Street banker Pedro Pablo Kuczynski’s camp claimed victory Tuesday in Peru’s photo-finish presidential election, but polarizing rival Keiko Fujimori said it’s not over till the last vote is counted.

With more than 97 percent of the ballots in from Sunday’s runoff, the Oxford-trained economist known as “PPK” had the edge in the race to lead one of Latin America’s fastest-growing economies: 50.14 percent of the vote to 49.86 percent for Fujimori, the daughter of jailed ex-president Alberto Fujimori.

Kuczynski’s running mate, Martin Vizcarra, declared victory.

“This result is irreversible,” he told RPP TV, as the national elections office ONPE tallied the last ballots from remote areas and overseas.

“Even if the ONPE hasn’t filled in the missing numbers, our people on the ground have copies of the result sheets and that enables us to calculate that PPK will win.”

With less than 50,000 votes separating the candidates, electoral officials said it could take until Thursday to deliver a final result.

Bad weather has grounded flights meant to deliver results from the Amazon jungle region, and some have had to be sent by boat.

Kuczynski, the 77-year-old son of a Jewish doctor from Germany, has said he won’t declare victory until the official verdict is in.

But he couldn’t resist stepping out on the balcony of his house in an upscale Lima neighborhood Monday and indulging in a few dance moves alongside his wife.

On Tuesday, he headed to a local country club, telling reporters: “We’re optimistic, getting our exercise.”

Fujimori, 41, was hunkered down in her campaign headquarters for a second straight day.

“We’re cautiously waiting,” she said Monday night with a smile and a thumbs-up sign.

Her campaign is hoping she will win heavily in remote areas still sending in their results thanks to her father’s pull with poor rural voters.

AFP contributed to this report.

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