Fujimori concedes defeat, salutes Humala on victory

Congresswoman Keiko Fujimori has conceded defeat in Peru’s presidential election to left-wing nationalist Ollanta Humala, daily El Comercio reported.

“I recognize the triumph of Ollanta Humala, I salute his victory and I wish him luck,” said Fujimori, who added that now is the time to “mend bridges and start dialogue.”

On Monday, official results from election authority ONPE, with 91.64% of the ballots counted, showed Humala ahead of Fujimori with 51.48% support versus 48.52% support, respectively.

Humala, 48, is a former army officer that was narrowly defeated in the 2006 election to outgoing President Alan Garcia. During that campaign, Humala had strong ties with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and supported the latter’s socialist policies.

In this campaign, Humala’s success was partially due to a more moderate discourse that attracted advisers from centrist parties that split support in the first round vote.

His success was also due to mistrust among many voters about Fujimori and her Fuerza 2011 party.

Fujimori, a 36-year-old with and MBA from Columbia University, is the daughter of jailed ex-President Alberto Fujimori.

While Alberto Fujimori is credited with setting the framework for Peru’s economic success and defeating the bloody Shining Path insurgency, much of the electorate also remembers him for gross human rights violations and corruption during his 10 year administration (1990-2000). He is currently serving a 25-year-prison sentence.

Critics of Fujimori pointed to her political team to suggest that she would implement similar authoritarian policies as her father.

Nevertheless, Fujimori had the backing of the business community that saw her as more likely to maintain economic stability, while Humala is expected to increase the government’s role in the economy and increase taxes.

As a result, news of the election results sent Lima stock exchange BVL plunging on Monday morning in one of the biggest decreases in its history, state news agency Andina reported.

The BVL’s General Index fell 12.51 percent to 18,571 points, while the Selective Index declined 12.41 percent to 25,700 points.

The activity resulted in the bourse suspending trading in the morning and halting it early in the afternoon.

Former Prime Minister and ex-presidential candidate Pedro Pablo Kuczynski urged Humala to name key posts in his government quickly to reassure investors.

“Humala must name a minister of economy as soon as possible,” Kuczynski said.

Humala will also have to appoint the head of the Central Bank. The president of business association Confiep, Humberto Speziani, said the reappointment of Julio Velarde as the Bank’s president would send a good message to investors.

“If they stay with Julio Velard, that would be a good message to the economic actors,” Speziani said.

2 Comments

  1. incawarrior says:

    Brace yourselves because we’re on a rollercoaster to god knows where.
    Mr. Humala will have to redeem his political favours and in particular to Mr Chavez. Yep! we’re on our way to joining Bolivia and Ecuador on a bird brained journey to hell. I really hope I’m mistaken but you don’t have to be very smart to realise that Venezuela is on the brink of disaster and Bolivia and Ecuador are not far behind.
    My fellow countrymen, get down on your knees and pray and hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and for good measure I’m going to join you because we’re going to need all the help we can get.

  2. I believe this is an over reaction. Relax…”El Caballo Loco” and the Apristas are gone. It’s time to celebrate. Neoliberal policies in Peru have been out of control since Toledo’s presidency. Fujimori introduced limited privatization to get Peru out of the economic disaster that the 1st Garcia regime left behind. Why doesn’t anyone question why the fastest growing economy in Latin America is still seeing poverty levels at 48%. Give me a break. The US, Canada, and Switzerland are lining their pockets with Peruvian gold and ore. What are they leaving behind? Leveled mountains and contamination that will take $$millions$$ to clean up. Nobody profits but the upper echelon of society. I hope I’m correct in trusting that Ollanta will do what is right for PERU, not foreign interest.

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