View Full Version : Peru to be next member of the Latin Left Bloc?

04-10-2006, 03:19 PM
Humala looks set for Peru run-off
BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4897186.stm)

A nationalist ex-army officer, Ollanta Humala, has taken a lead in Peru's election but looks set for a run-off. It is still unclear who he will face as there is less than a percentage point difference between the second and third placed presidential candidates.

With 67% of the ballots counted Mr Humala has 28.7% of the vote, Lourdes Flores, a conservative, has 25.8% and ex-President Alan Garcia is on 25.07%.

Final results may not be known for days. A run-off is expected on 7 May.

A 50% share of the vote is needed for an outright victory.

Analysts say the good performance of two left-leaning candidates seems to confirm a recent left-wing trend in elections in Latin America

Split Congress

Mr Humala - who in 2000 led a rebellion against Alberto Fujimori's government - was until recently a political unknown.

His promises to increase taxes on foreign companies and revise a free trade agreement with the US have appealed to Peru's poor majority which has seen little of the benefits of the country's economic growth.

However, his increasing popularity has reportedly led some foreign firms to put investment plans on hold.

The business sector is widely said to favour Ms Flores, a former congresswoman who is hoping her chances will be boosted by Michelle Bachelet's recent win in Chile.

Mr Garcia's 1985-1990 administration was marked by hyperinflation and rebel violence but he remains popular among many Peruvians and focused much of his campaign on attracting young voters.

He has said he has now learnt his lessons, and is keen to distance himself from what he calls the demagoguery of Mr Humala.

In the 2001 election, Mr Garcia edged Ms Flores out of the run-off beating her to a second place. He then lost to Alejandro Toledo.

Peruvians were also electing two vice-presidents and 120 members of Congress.

Early results suggest no party will have a clear majority in Congress.