* Rules out contentious pension, tax changes
* Steps up attacks on rival as lead slips
* Humala has been dogged by 'double-talk'
(Adds details, quotes)
By Patricia Velez and Caroline Stauffer
LIMA, May 13 Leftist presidential candidate
Ollanta Humala, trying to woo moderate voters, scrapped a plan
to nationalize Peru's private pension funds and vowed to
respect an independent Congress and judiciary if elected.
In his updated election platform released on Friday, Humala
promised to leave the private pension system untouched instead
of replacing it with a government-run system.
Humala, a former army officer who has tempered his radical
image since narrowly losing the 2006 election, also dropped
plans to raise the corporate income tax rate on firms in the
country's vast mining sector to 45 percent from 30 percent.
But he still plans to slap a windfall profits tax on mining
companies that he said would raise $1-$2.5 billion a year in
revenue to help fight poverty that afflicts a third of the
The revision of his controversial plan -- it is the second
time he has changed it during the campaign -- seeks to calm
Peruvian voters and investors worried that he will intervene in
the fast-growing economy. Those concerns eroded his lead and
this week he fell behind right-wing rival Keiko Fujimori in two
opinion polls three weeks away from the June 5 run-off.
"Our main goal is to make sure that economic growth
benefits everyone, beginning with the poorest," Humala told
reporters. "We want the country to believe that, with God, we
can start a great transformation that will be gradual but
consistent, without destabilizing change."
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Humala has increasingly sought to recast himself as a
moderate like Brazil's popular former President Luiz Inacio
Lula da Silva, who abandoned his hardline politics to capture
the political center when he was first elected in 2002.
Humala's recent overtures have helped win him new
supporters, but critics had said his more conciliatory public
image still clashes with angry rhetoric in his government plan,
which rails against free-market economic policies and
multinational corporations. Those discrepancies led to charges
he was engaging in "double-talk" and could not be trusted.
STEPS UP ATTACKS ON FUJIMORI
Critics have said that reforms Humala proposed in his
original campaign platform would have undermined judicial
independence, while memories of Congress being shut in 1992 by
jailed former President Alberto Fujimori still unnerve voters
concerned about the strength of Peru's democracy.
Humala's revised plan reiterated earlier pledges to respect
the Central Bank's independence, run a balanced budget, honor
Peru's foreign trade pacts and only serve one term.
His detractors had voiced concerns that he might try to
change the constitution to allow him to run for any number of
consecutive terms, like his former political mentor, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez.
Humala won the first round presidential vote on April 10
but is now narrowly trailing Fujimori, a lawmaker and daughter
of the former president, who is favored by the business
Her father's government opened the economy and slayed
hyperinflation but collapsed in 2000 in a cloud of corruption
and human rights scandals stemming from his crackdown on
Like Humala, she has also said Peru should introduce a
windfall profits tax on miners to fund social programs.
Humala, who for months avoided directly criticizing
Fujimori, has in recent days sought to discredit her
presidential bid with sharp attacks.
"The option we offer today to Peru is the road toward a
democratic and conciliatory government, instead of one of
continued corrupt power that only serves elites -- tied to
corruption and the return of Fujimori's authoritarianism."
(Writing by Terry Wade; editing by Anthony Boadle)