Rossall old boy's presidential bid
An ex-student of Rossall School looks set to be elected as the new president of Peru.
Voters looked to have chosen Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, 77, to lead the land of the Incas, one of the world’s biggest cocaine producers.
His wife Nancy is a cousin of Hollywood actress Jessica Lange.
Kuczynski was born in Peru but came to Lancashire as a teenager.
“In 1953 my mother got sick and they sent me to a boarding school in northern England, a semi-military college,” he wrote on his website.
His official CV filed with the Peruvian electoral board names the school as Rossall.
Kuczynski’s father was a Jewish doctor from Germany who fled from the Nazis in the 1930s.
He landed in Peru, where Pedro Pablo – known to his countrymen as “PPK” – was born in 1938.
His father worked healing lepers in the Amazon jungle, where PPK spent part of his childhood.
As well as going to Rossall, the young Kuczynski studied flute and piano at the Royal College of Music.
He later graduated from Oxford and Princeton universities and went into banking.
Eventually returning to his native land, he served as a government minister.
Right-winger Kuczynski is in the lead to win a presidential election in the South American country.
The last votes were still being counted after Sunday’s ballot, with Kuczynski just ahead of his rival Keiko Fujimori.
“PPK” entertained fans at election rallies by dancing and playing the flute.
His supporters dressed up as Peruvian guinea pigs, his campaign mascot.
Kuczynski has vowed to throw Peru’s violent drug gangs in jail.
He has promised to unite Peru, which suffered a bloody civil conflict from 1980 to 2000.
“We want no more fighting or confrontation,” he said.
His long experience in international business and banking helped him win the vote.
“I may be old, but my noggin still works,” he said.
Kuczynski, who has also held the post of Prime Minister of Peru, said of his arrival at Rossall: “We came on the boat from Peru to Liverpool, which took three weeks, so we were already in rough shape when we finally reached Fleetwood.”
And although the President admits he struggled a little with the Lancashire accent, he credits the school with inspiring his love of music and says it taught him two key skills: discipline, and not to panic, whatever the circumstances.
Mr Kuczynski, who was a member of Rossall’s Maltese Cross House, later went on to study flute and piano at the Royal College of Music before attending Oxford and Princeton universities.
Elaine Purves, headteacher of Rossall School said: “Rossall has a long history of high achieving alumni, including notable writers, sportsmen and politicians, and we’d be immensely proud to be able to add a world leader to that list.”