April 11 (Reuters) - Left-wing nationalist Ollanta Humala won the first round of Peru’s presidential election on Sunday but has to face rightist Keiko Fujimori in what could be a bruising run-off in June, official results showed on Monday. [ID:nN11271691]
Despite a decade-long boom, a third of Peruvians still live in poverty and many rallied behind Humala, a former army officer turned populist politician who says he can close the country’s gaping social inequalities.
Fujimori, the daughter of jailed former president Alberto Fujimori, also appeals to the poor but has more credibility among investors because her father opened up Peru’s economy to trade, privatized state-owned firms and defeated hyperinflation in the 1990s.
Though they are at opposite ends of the political spectrum, both candidates favor raising taxes on mining companies in Peru’s vast minerals sector to fund social programs.
Below are their profiles and platforms:
Humala, 48, burst on the national scene in 2000 when he led a short-lived revolt to demand that Fujimori’s father, then president of Peru, resign because of corruption scandals.
He has since tried to distance himself from his radical past and his former political guru, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who endorsed his 2006 presidential bid.
Donning a suit and tie, Humala has moderated his political discourse, pledging to respect central bank independence, fiscal prudence, and Peru’s free-trade agreements.
He still talks about vigorously regulating strategic sectors such as mining and oil, and opponents say the government plan he submitted to Peru’s electoral commission is far more radical than his softened tone on the campaign trail.
His proposals are:
- A revised constitution for a “new economic model” that keeps sectors including water and sanitation in public hands.
- Tax international miners 40 to 45 percent of profits, up from 30 percent today. Raise oil and gas royalties.
- Keep annual inflation at about 2.5 percent with a stable exchange rate. PEN=PE
- The fiscal deficit not to exceed 1 percent of GDP.
- A gradual reduction of the national sales tax to 14 percent or 15 percent, down from 18 percent currently.
- Prioritize natural gas produced at Camisea fields for domestic energy consumption rather than export.
- “Social control” rather than eradication of coca leaf crops in the world’s No. 2 cocaine producer.
- Increase education and healthcare spending.
For full platform see: www.goo.gl/EInGt
A popular member of Congress, Fujimori has indicated her policies would mostly follow those of her father. A right-wing populist in power from 1990 to 2000, the elder Fujimori is now in prison for corruption and human rights abuses stemming from his crackdown on leftist guerrillas.
In a topsy-turvy race, Fujimori, 35, maintained a stable 20 percent of support from Peruvians who say her father’s measures saved Peru from collapse and restored security by defeating armed insurgencies and hyperinflation.
Poor supporters recall her father’s low-income housing programs and soup kitchens, while the business community credits him with laying the foundation for Peru’s current economic surge. Many of them prefer Keiko to left-wing populist Humala, but some say she is too young to govern.
She would be the first Peruvian woman to become president, a role she was groomed for by her father when he made her the country’s first lady after separating from his wife.
Keiko hopes the courts will overturn her father’s 2009 conviction for human rights crimes. After fleeing in 2000 to exile in Japan, where his parents were born, Alberto Fujimori, now 72, was brought back to Peru for trial and sentenced to 25 years in prison for ordering death squads to carry out two massacres that killed 25 people during repression of leftist sympathizers of Maoist guerrillas.
Keiko Fujimori vows to respect human rights.
Her proposals are:
- Economic growth of at least 7 percent per year.
- Promote free markets and free trade.
- Cut red tape, simplify tax procedures and reduce the costs of doing business by 20 percent in the next five years.
- Expand comprehensive health insurance.
- Build more prisons, death penalty for severe crimes.
- Enhance access to safe housing with water and basic sanitation. Grant land titles and expand access to mortgages.
- Tax windfall profits of miners.
- Force wildcat miners to stop using toxic mercury.
- Beef up anti-drug efforts and push to get rid of remnant rebel groups that work in the drug trade.
For complete platform see: www.goo.gl/kHhZp
For full coverage of Peru’s election, click on [ID:nVOTEPE] (Reporting by Marco Aquino, Patricia Velez and Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Anthony Boadle)