Left-winger Ollanta Humala wins Peru election

Left-wing former army commander Ollanta Humala won Peru's presidential election and vowed the poor will share in the country's new wealth.





Humala claimed victory last night as results from 89 per cent of ballot boxes gave him a narrow but growing lead of more than 2.7 percentage points over right-wing politician Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of jailed former President Alberto Fujimori.



Exit polls and quick counts from yesterday's election put Humala clearly ahead and his lead in the official returns was expected to grow as more votes came in from poor, rural areas.







"We want to install a government of national unity," Humala, 48, told thousands of cheering supporters after a bruising race that brought back bitter memories of Peru's chaotic past.









Peru, one of the world's fastest-growing economies over the past decade, is a major metals exporter but a third of its people are stuck in poverty and Humala campaigned on promises to spread around more of the country's new wealth.







"We want economic growth with social inclusion," he said at a rally in downtown Lima that stretched into the early hours of Monday. "We can build a more just Peru for everybody."



Thousands of followers danced in jubilation, chanting "Humala Presidente! and "Fujimori never again."



After narrowly losing the 2006 presidential election, Humala toned down his more radical anti-capitalist policies to try to win over centrist voters.



He vowed to run a balanced budget, bring experienced technocrats into his government and respect foreign investors who plan to spend $40 billion on mining and oil projects in Peru in the next decade. He vows to give the a poor a greater share of natural resource wealth and end social conflicts.



Finance Minister Ismael Benavides told Reuters late yesterday that the government had a "contingency plan" ready to face a sharp market sell-off, but he gave no firm details.



Humala's chief economics adviser, Felix Jimenez, who wrote his campaign platform and is seen as a possible central bank chief, sought to reassure markets, saying the government and central bank both had instruments to fend off a rout.



"Our economic proposals are totally sensible: to maintain macroeconomic equilibrium, consolidate growth and create conditions for private domestic and foreign investment growth," he told Reuters.



It was not immediately clear when Humala would start to name his cabinet.



Fujimori, 36, was the favorite of investors but many voted against her because her father is serving a 25-year prison sentence for corruption and using death squads to crack down on suspected leftists when he was Peru's president in the 1990s.



Humala, who as an army commander led an unsuccessful revolt against the elder Fujimori in 2000, has hammered his rival for working in her father's authoritarian government.



Fujimori warned Humala could wreck Peru's economy by dismantling the free-market reforms begun by her father. Those reforms helped set the stage for unprecedented growth in the past decade as Peru left behind the hyperinflation and guerrilla wars of the 1980s and '90s.



Critics say Humala is still a hard-liner at heart who will take over private firms and try to change the constitution to allow himself to run for consecutive terms like his one-time mentor, Venezuela's firebrand leftist leader Hugo Chavez.





"Humala has four different manifestoes. He doesn't convince me and represents a return to militarism of the past," said 35-year-old security guard Julio Cauche.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing
The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower