- Associated Press - Sunday, April 10, 2011

LIMA, Peru | An anti-establishment military man who promises to redistribute Peru’s wealth won the most votes in Sunday’s presidential vote and is headed into a runoff against the daughter of imprisoned former President Alberto Fujimori, unofficial results showed.

Keiko Fujimori, 35, could easily become president as none of former Lt. Col. Ollanta Humala’s leading rivals eliminated in the vote expressed a similar intent of shaking up the free market-oriented status quo.

Because no candidate won a majority Sunday they will meet in a June 5 runoff.

Mr. Humala similarly won the first round in 2006 presidential vote but was defeated 53 percent to 47 percent by Alan Garcia in a runoff.

Nobel literature laureate Mario Vargas Llosa has called a runoff between Mr. Humala and Keiko Fujimori “a choice between AIDS and terminal cancer” given perceptions of their anti-democratic tendencies.

Unofficial results representing 74 percent of the vote released by the nonprofit electoral watchdog Transparencia gave Mr. Humala 31.3 percent in Sunday’s election - well short of the simple majority needed to win outright.

Ms. Fujimori, whose father Peruvians alternately adore and vilify, got 23.2 percent, which was trailed by Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, a 72-year-old former World Bank economist and investment banker, with 18.7 percent.

In fourth place was Alejandro Toledo, Peru’s president from 2001-2006, with 15.9 percent. Pre-election polls showed he could defeat Mr. Humala in a second round while Mr. Kuczynski and Ms. Fujimori would have a harder time.

Mr. Humala has spooked foreign investors by promising a greater state role in the economy and to divert natural-gas exports to the domestic market.

That’s just fine with Federico Sandoval, a 60-year-old veterinarian in Lima’s sprawling lower-class Villa El Salvador district.

Mr. Sandoval said he voted for Mr. Humala because the corruption that has long been a hallmark of Peruvian politics and that many believe worsened in the Garcia presidency - needs to stop.

“In order to improve the situation, there need to be changes and they should be radical,” Mr. Sandoval said.

Politics in this resource-rich Andean nation have been volatile since the 1980s, when its discredited political parties all but dissolved.

George Mason University political scientist Jo-Marie Burt said Sunday’s outcome put Peru on “a really terrible road and I think it shows how weak the whole political system really is.”

“The people are very divided,” said Luis Tamayo, a 25-year-old engineering student in Villa el Salvador who, like many better-educated Peruvians, voted for Mr. Kuczynski.

“What you’ve got here are older men who are very nationalist, very leftist and are voting for Humala and women who work in the community kitchens who are Fujimoristas,” Mr. Tamayo said.

Ms. Fujimori ran on her father’s legacy of delivering essential services to Peru’s forgotten backwater and of being tough on crime. It’s a potent message in a nation 30 million where one in three live on less than $3 a day and lack running water.

Peru is a top exporter of copper, gold and silver, commodities whose rising prices have helped fuel economic growth averaging 7 percent over the past five years. But it is a growth that has hardly trickled down to the poor.



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