Monday, June 6, 2011

Leftist wins Peru's presidential vote

Former army Lt. Col. Ollanta Humala

Source: Press TV

Exit polls in Peru's presidential runoff election indicate that former army Lt. Col. Ollanta Humala has scored a narrow victory over the daughter of jailed former President Alberto Fujimori.

According to independent Transparencia election observer, Humala has won over 51 percent of Sunday's votes, compared to Keiko Fujimori's nearly 49 percent of the votes, the Associated Press reported.

Polls conducted by CPI, Ipsos-Apoyo and Datum institutes also indicated that the 48-year-old former lieutenant colonel may eventually receive between 52.5 and 52.7 percent of the votes.

His victory would be the first return of the left to power in Peru since the 1970s. Based on the exit polls, Humala would very likely become Peru's next president, five years after narrowly losing to current centrist President Alan Garcia.

Humala, who is backed by popular Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, has pledged to redistribute Peru's wealth of natural resources among the country's poor.

Speaking at a last campaign rally in Peru's capital Lima on Saturday, the leftist ex-military man said he would unveil social programs to eradicate poverty and inequality, improve education and healthcare, and create more jobs for the youth.

On the other side of Peru's presidential campaign trail was the 36-year-old right-wing lawmaker, Keiko Fujimori, whose political campaign was held in the shadow of her father, who is serving a 25-year jail term for corruption and rights abuses during his rule in the 1990s that was marked by a brutal crackdown on leftist Shining Path guerrillas.

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