Photo: Ollanta Humala, candidate for president in Peru
Peru’s presidential race is set to continue after no candidate was able to garner the vote majority required in. Now, a runoff election is set for June between Ollanta Humala and Keiko Fujimori.
Humala, 48, is a nationalist former military officer, who changed his image during his campaign to present himself as more of a moderate family man. Previously, he had taken after the object of his admiration, fellow-leftist, and Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. Humala
Fujimori, 33, is the daughter of jailed former president Alberto K. Fujimori who is currently serving time for human rights violations. Ms. Fujimori ran on a platform advocating the pardon of her father. She highlighted his record in defeating leftist guerilla groups in the 1990s, though few have forgotten the rough period which included espionage scandals that plagues his career before he finally fled to Japan in 2000. He was later extradited and returned to Peru from Chile in 2007, and stood trial on charges of corruption and human rights violations.
With about 85.4 percent of the votes in Sunday night, Humala had 31.2 percent, and Fujimori grabbed 23.2 percent.
Humala’s lead in the first round of voting is likely due to Peru’s upset over the large income gaps, as he advocated for more “equitable distribution of proceeds from Peru’s commodities exports,” wrote the NY Times. As of today, about 30 percent of Peru’s population lives in poverty, and while this is a remarkable improvement from 10 years ago, when poverty affected about 53 percent, that is still very high.