(Reuters) - Left-wing nationalist Ollanta Humala won the first round of Peru’s presidential election on Sunday and looked set to face rightist Keiko Fujimori in what could be a bruising run-off in June, three exit polls showed.
However, Fujimori’s lead over third-place candidate — Pedro Pablo Kuczynski — was narrow, so the eventual pairing for the June 5 run-off could change. Officials said it may take days to count all the votes.
Despite a decade-long boom, a third of Peruvians live in poverty and many rallied behind Humala, a former army officer turned populist politician. His rivals are favored by big business in one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.
Below are profiles and key proposals from the three leading candidate:
Humala, 48, burst on the national scene in 2000 when he led a short revolt to demand the embattled former president, Fujimori, quit 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.
Wearing a suit and tie, Humala made the most moderate speech of his political life on March 28. He pledged to respect central bank independence 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.
- A revised constitution for a “new economic model” that keeps sectors including water and sanitation in public hands.
- Tax international miners 40 percent to 45 percent of profits, up from 30 percent today. Hike oil and gas royalties.
- Keep annual inflation at about 2.5 percent with a stable exchange rate.
- Fiscal deficit not above 1 percent of gross domestic product.
- Evaluate 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 security rather than export.
- “Social control” of coca 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, Alberto Fujimori is now in prison for corruption and human rights abuses.
In a topsy-turvy race, his daughter, 35, maintained support of about 20 percent from Peruvians who say the elder Fujimori’s authoritarian measures saved the country from collapsing during guerrilla insurgencies in the 1990s.
Poor supporters recall low-income housing programs and soup kitchens while the business community credits him with curbing hyperinflation and opening up Peru’s economy. They prefer Keiko to left-wing populist Humala.
Keiko vows to respect human rights and says only the courts can decide whether to pardon her father, who is now 72.
- 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.
For complete platform see: www.goo.gl/kHhZp
Kuczynski, 72, is a former Wall Street executive who served as prime minister under Toledo. A renowned technocrat, he also worked at the World Bank and as finance and energy minister.
Many Peruvians see him as an outsider and call him “El Gringo.” Kuczynski, who has degrees from Oxford and Princeton, recently turned in his U.S. passport to the U.S. Embassy and says he will give it up entirely if elected.
- Decentralize the Finance Ministry so regional governments can more quickly approve infrastructure projects.
- Lower national sales tax to 15 percent (now 18 percent).
- Provide all Peruvians with clean drinking water.
- Improve public education and increase education budget.
- Improve security through more police and a strong-arm approach to crime and drug trafficking.
- Eliminate extreme poverty in 10 years.
For full platform see: www.ppk.pe/25-compromisos
Reporting by Marco Aquino, Patricia Velez and Caroline Stauffer