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article imagePeruvian presidential election close enough to be a toss-up

By Igor I. Solar     Jun 3, 2011 in World
Lima - Conservative Keiko Fujimori and nationalist Ollanta Humala closed their campaigns last night towards Sunday's presidential runoff with speeches repeating promises and attacks of recent weeks.
The latest polls have measured preferences distributed almost equally in favour of both candidates. Fujimori has managed to gather broad support in the capital Lima, while Humala has majority support in the northern and interior regions of the country.
Polling agency Ipsos-Apoyo has given the daughter of former President Alberto Fujimori 51.1%, and 48.9% to Humala, a difference of 2.2 percent in a poll which has a +/- 1.8 percent margin of error. Another survey (CPI - Peruvian Company of Opinion and Market Research) gave Humala a one-point lead: 50.5% versus 49.5% of his rival. Both candidates ended their campaigns trying to attract about 10 percent of the voters who have declared to be undecided.
This is the closest election in the history of Perú and the most contested since 1962, when the leader of the APRA (American Popular Revolutionary Alliance Party) Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre, prevailed narrowly, by less than 14000 votes, over candidate Fernando Belaúnde (Popular Action Party). "I appeal for calm and to take these last few days with lots of peace, this competition is quite even, but it is important to ensure the future of our country and I am convinced we will win the election" said Fujimori in her closing speech.
Keiko Fujimori  Peruvian presidential candidate of coalition Fuerza 2011. She is the daughter of for...
Keiko Fujimori, Peruvian presidential candidate of coalition Fuerza 2011. She is the daughter of former Peruvian president Ernesto Fujimori.
K. Fujimori
Keiko Sofía Fujimori Higuchi (36), candidate of "Fuerza 2011" coalition, also called for an investigation of claims made by a former drug dealer to newspaper Peru 21 (in Spanish) that Humala, at the time he was captain of the Army and in charge of counterinsurgency operations in the interior of the country, received bribes to facilitate clandestine flights transporting drugs to Colombia.
Fujimori also claimed "Humala does not have his facts straight and that generates much mistrust," adding that she was "concerned about Humala's relationship with the president of Venezuela Hugo Chavez" accusing the Nationalist candidate of “receiving funding from the Venezuelan leader."
Meanwhile, in his speech Ollanta Moisés Humala Tasso (47), pledged to increase the minimum wage, to create a free health
Ollanta Humala  former miitary commander  Peruvian Presidential candidate of Gana Perú coalition.
Ollanta Humala, former miitary commander, Peruvian Presidential candidate of Gana Perú coalition.
system for all Peruvians and to work for economic development with social inclusion in a way that “wealth can reach the pockets of all Peruvians." "We cannot continue saying that Perú is progressing at the same time it generates greater inequality," said the nationalist leader who called on voters "not to be afraid of change." In closing his speech retired lieutenant colonel Humala asked voters "to think and remember about the events in a previous government” in which his opponent was the First Lady, referring to former president Alberto Fujimori, who is imprisoned for crimes against humanity and corruption occurred during his administration (1990-2000).
Preceding the speech of candidate Humala, former President Alejandro Toledo (fourth in the first round on April 10) and writer-journalist Alvaro Vargas, the son of Nobel-prize winner for Literature Mario Vargas Llosa, also made speeches in support of Mr. Humala.
This Friday the candidates can deliver messages via radio and television but not in public political acts. On Saturday no political activities are allowed, so that Peruvians can quietly reflect on the alternatives for the Sunday vote.
More about Peru, Presidential election, Ollanta HUmala, Keiko Fujimori, Mario vargas llosa
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