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Ex-army officer wins most votes in Peru; faces runoff

Voters showed support for antiestablishment candidate Ollanta Humala outside his Lima headquarters yesterday. Unofficial results put Humala in the lead, followed by Keiko Fujimori. Voters showed support for antiestablishment candidate Ollanta Humala outside his Lima headquarters yesterday. Unofficial results put Humala in the lead, followed by Keiko Fujimori. (Martin Mejia/ Associated Press)
Associated Press / April 11, 2011

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LIMA — An antiestablishment military man who promises to redistribute Peru’s wealth won the most votes in yesterday’s presidential election and will face the daughter of imprisoned former president Alberto Fujimori in a runoff, unofficial results showed.

Keiko Fujimori, 35, could end up beating Ollanta Humala in the June 5 runoff, because Humala was the only candidate who advocated altering Peru’s free-market-oriented status quo by giving the state a greater role in the economy.

The ex-army lieutenant colonel also won the first round in Peru’s 2006 presidential vote but was defeated, 53 percent to 47 percent, by Alan Garcia in a runoff widely seen as a rebuff to Hugo Chavez, who had openly backed him.

This time, Humala distanced himself from the leftist Venezuelan president, and Fujimori backed away from the vows to pardon her father, which she made two years ago when he was convicted of approving death squad killings and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Humala has spooked foreign investors by promising to divert natural gas exports to the domestic market and to obtain greater royalties from foreign investors in Peru’s mineral wealth.

Unofficial results representing 100 percent of the vote released by the nonprofit electoral watchdog Transparencia gave Humala 31.7 percent in yesterday’s election — well short of the simple majority needed to win outright.

Fujimori — whose father Peruvians alternately adore and vilify — got 23.3 percent, trailed by Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, a 72-year-old former World Bank economist and investment banker, with 18.3 percent.

In fourth was Alejandro Toledo, Peru’s president from 2001-2006, with 15.9 percent. Former Lima Mayor Luis Castaneda was fifth with 9.9 percent.

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