LIMA — Retired army Lieutenant Colonel Ollanta Humala won a tight presidential runoff yesterday against the daughter of the imprisoned former president, Alberto Fujimori, according to an unofficial vote count.
Humala, a leftist who has promised the poor a greater share of the nation’s mineral wealth, led with about 51 percent of the vote, against 49 percent for Keiko Fujimori, the independent Transparencia election watchdog group said.
The count represents 90 percent of voting.
Humala, 48, narrowly lost the 2006 presidential election to Alan Garcia. He is backed largely by poor Peruvians, who have not benefited from a mining bonanza that fueled economic growth averaging 7 percent annually since 2001.
Fujimori, 36, who would be Peru’s first female leader, became the refuge of the pro-business status quo after the April 10 first round, when three candidates split the centrist vote, together amassing 45 percent.
Fujimori’s base has long been those who consider her father a hero for vanquishing both hyperinflation and fanatical Shining Path rebels during his autocratic presidency in 1990-2000 and who forgive his sins.
Humala had the endorsement of Alejandro Toledo, the former president who finished fourth. Fujimori was backed by third-place finisher Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, a former prime minister and investment banker.
Many voters’ consider both candidates a potential threat to democracy given their human rights credentials. Some decided to mark their ballots “neither’’ in protest.
Both candidates are populists who promise a raft of giveaways for the poor, including free school meals and preschool care. Humala promises a government pension for all at age 65.
But Humala, unlike his foe, insists on taxing windfall mining profits and exporting less natural gas so it is cheaper for Peruvians.
Some voters fear the election of Fujimori would be a rerun of her father’s autocratic regime, which Transparency International deemed the seventh most corrupt of modern times.