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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
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

Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator - Lancashire - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: 3rd Line Support Engineer / Network ...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Web Developer

£26000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Web Developer is required to ...

Ashdown Group: PeopleSoft Developer - London - £45k

£45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: PeopleSoft Application Support & Development ...

Ashdown Group: PHP Developer - Buckinghamshire - £29,000

£25000 - £29000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Junior PHP Developer - Milton Keynes...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003