Sunday, April 10, 2011

Leftist hopeful Ollanta Humala wins first round of presidential elections in Perú

Ollanta Humala
According to the latest exit polls results and in what is considered as an expected and easy victory, today, Ollanta Moisés Humala Tasso, 46, won by ample margin the first round of presidential elections in Perú obtaining 31.8% of the vote. Left behind was Keiko Fujimory at a distant 22.8% and at a third place, Kuczyinski with 19.6%, none of them, however, managed to accumulate the percentage required to avoid the runoff.

Perú is a leading exporter of cooper, gold and silver, commodities whose spiralling prices have helped to sustain a 7% economic growth over the past five years. Unfortunately, this growth has not reached the vast poor and marginalized sectors.

Humala is a retired army officer and son of a former socialist leader and is the candidate of Perú's Nationalist Party. His father is the founder of a tendency known as “etnocacerismo” that defends and inculcates the values of the Incaic and nationalist past.  He represents a radical departure from mainstream politicians by opposing neoliberal traditional practices, and has promised to redistribute Perú’s mineral wealth.  In the 2006 presidential elections, Humala also won the first round but failed to do the same in the runoffs, where he lost 53% to 47% to incumbent President Allan García.

Campaigning with his wife Nadine
A wave of socialist renovation sweeps Latin America, where the masses, frustrated of centuries of exploitation, discrimination and inequality have turned to leaders who advocate a fair distribution of the riches and a new and just approach to social justice and in many cases appeal the constituent force of the forgotten to advance the will of the majority. Today thirteen countries out of twenty-one, either have openly socialist  governments, Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Ecuador, or left-leaning presidents, such as El Salvador, Guatemala, Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Dominican Republic, and others, while there are also strong left-oriented  movements in Mexico, Chile, Honduras and Perú. Will that wave of socialist renovation reach Perú this time?

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