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2011 Elections | June 5, 2011 [ 22:30 ]

Peru election results at 78 pct: Humala 50.09, Fujimori 49.91

Ollanta Humala leads the official count by less than one-tenth of a percent.  (Photo courtesy El Comercio)

With 78% of votes tallied in Peru's elections, Ollanta Humala leads with less than one tenth of a percent over Keiko Fujimori.

The preliminary results show a razor-thin Humala lead of 50.09% to 49.91%. The majority of votes counted thus far come from the capital city of Lima and other urban areas, said Magdalena Chu, head of Peru's elections offices.

A quick count at polls by the survey firm Ipsos Apoyo predicted a 51.4% to 48.6% victory by Ollanta Humala.

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2011 Elections | June 5, 2011 [ 20:04 ]

Peru's Fujimori says she will respect election results

Keiko Fujimori talking to supporters on Sunday before official results are released. (Photo: Screen shot/El Comercio/Canal N)

In her first speech after today's exit polls placed Ollanta Humala as the winner, Keiko Fujimori told supporters she will respect the official results.

"I will wait for the results with the necessary prudence," Fujimori said from a balcony of Hotel Bolívar in Lima's historic downtown.

"If official results back the difference we've seen in the quick counts, I will be the first to recognize the results, as I've said since the beginning," she said. "I ask Humala supporters the same thing: Wait for the final results with a lot of responsibility and prudence."


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2011 Elections | June 5, 2011 [ 19:01 ]

Exit poll results: Humala beats Fujimori in 16 regions of Peru

(Photo: El Comercio)

According to exit polls by Ipsos-Apoyo, nationalist presidential candidate Ollanta Humala will defeat his contender right-wing Keiko Fujimori in 16 regions of Peru, reports El Comercio.

Fujimori won in Lima and Callao, but Humala took practically the rest of the country.

See the chart below for results per region:

 Region  Ollanta Humala
 Keiko Fujimori
Lima 42.9& 57.1%
Lima provincias 48.9% 51.1%
Callao 44.9% 55.1%
Arequipa 59.7% 40.3%
La Libertad 48.8% 51.2%
Cusco 76.4% 23.6%
Junín 53.2% 46.8%
Loreto 51.7% 48.3%
Lambayeque 49.8% 50.2%
Piura 46.7% 53.3%
Ayacucho 70.4% 29.6%
Tacna 71.8% 28.2%
Tumbes 55.6% 44.4%
Huancavelica 68.3% 31.7%
Puno 73.5% 26.5%
Ica 46.2% 53.8%
Ucayali 55.7% 44.3%
Áncash 61.2% 38.8%
Cajamarca 54.8% 45.2%
San Martín 49.3% 50.7%
Huánuco 66.4% 33.6%
Amazonas 58.5% 41.8%
Apurímac 65.1% 34.9%
Madre de Dios ND ND
Moquegua 67.7% 32.3%
Pasco 48.00% 52.00%
Source: Ipsos Apoyo via El Comercio
Exit poll results by region: 2011 Peru election

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2011 Elections | June 5, 2011 [ 16:34 ]

Quick count results (CPI): Humala 52.2 pct; Fujimori 47.8 pct

Quick count results (CPI): Humala 52.2  pct; Fujimori 47.8 pct
Humala is more than four points ahead of Fujimori according to CPI's quick count results. (Photo: El Comercio)

Quick count results with 100 percent of valid votes of CPI and Datum confirm nationalist Ollanta Humala's clear advantage over his contender, right-wing Keiko Fujimori.

Humala has 52.2 percent and Fujimori 47.8 percent according to CPI poll firm, a difference of 4.4 points.

Datum gives Humala 51 percent and Fujimori 49 percent, with a difference of two points.

Ipsos Apoyo's quick count results at 91 percent gives Humala 51.5 percent and Fujimori 48.5 percent, marking a difference of three points.

Quick count results are obtained over a sample of scrutinized votes, which makes it a more reliabe mechanism, as opposed to exit polls that are based on surveys done to voters when they're leaving the voting centers.

Official results will be made public at 9 p.m. according to Onpe.

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2011 Elections | June 5, 2011 [ 13:02 ]

Breaking News - Exit Polls: Humala 52.6 pct; Fujimori 47.4 pct

Breaking News - Exit Polls: Humala 52.6 pct; Fujimori 47.4 pct
 (Photo: El Comercio)

The exit poll results made by Ipsos-Apoyo shows that nationalist presidential candidate Ollanta Humala (Gana Perú) has 52.6 percent, and right-wing presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori (Fuerza 2011) 47.6 percent. The difference between both candidates is of five percent.

According to Datum poll firm's results, Humala has 52.7 percent and Fujimori 47.3, with a difference of 5.4 percent. CPI's exit poll results are 52.5 percent for Humala and 47.5 for Fujimori, with a difference of 4.7 percent.

Exit poll results have a margin of error of three percent.

The first official results will be available at 9 p.m. according to the National Office of Electoral Processes (Onpe).

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2011 Elections | June 5, 2011 [ 11:22 ]

Opinion: Why Washington is worried about Peru

By Mark Weisbrot
The Guardian

Opinion: Why Washington is worried about Peru
The U.S: embassy in Peru "strongly opposes" Humala's candidacy and "sees Keiko as the least bad option," writes Weisbrot. (Photo: Reuters)

On Sunday 5 June, an election will take place that will have a significant influence on the western hemisphere. At the moment, it is too close to call. Most of official Washington has been relatively quiet, but there is no doubt that the Obama administration has a big stake in the outcome of this poll.

The election is in Peru, where left populist and former military officer Ollanta Humala is facing off against Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of Peru's former authoritarian ruler Alberto Fujimori, who was president from 1990-2000. Alberto Fujimori is in jail, serving a 25-year sentence for multiple political murders, kidnapping and corruption. Keiko has made it clear that she represents him and his administration, and has been surrounded by his associates and former officials of his government.

Fujimori was found to have had "individual criminal responsibility" for the murders and kidnappings. But his government was responsible for many more widespread murders and human rights abuses, including the forced sterilisation of tens of thousands of women, mostly indigenous.

Between the two candidates, whom do you think Washington would prefer?

If you guessed Keiko Fujimori, you guessed right. I spoke Monday night with Gustavo Gorriti in Lima, an award-winning Peruvian investigative journalist who was one of the people that Alberto Fujimori was convicted of kidnapping. "The US embassy strongly opposes Humala's candidacy," he said. Harvard professor of government Steven Levitsky, who has written extensively on Peru and is currently visiting professor at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP), came to the same conclusion: "It's clear that the US embassy here sees Keiko as the least bad option," he told me from Lima on Tuesday.

Humala's opponents argue that Peru's democracy would be imperilled if he were elected, pointing to a military revolt that he led against Fujimori's authoritarian government. (He was later pardoned by the Peruvian Congress.) But his record is hardly comparable to the actual, proven crimes of Alberto Fujimori.

Humala is also accused of being an ally of Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez. He has distanced himself from Chávez, unlike in his 2006 campaign for the presidency. But all of this is just a rightwing media stunt. Chávez has been demonised throughout the hemispheric media, and so rightwing media monopolies have used him as a bogeyman in numerous elections for years, with varying degrees of success. Of course, Venezuela is also irrelevant to the Peruvian election because almost all governments in South America are "allies of Chávez". This is especially true of Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador and Uruguay, for example, all of whom have very close and collaborative relations with Venezuela.

As in many other elections in Latin America, rightwing domination of the media is key to successful scare tactics. "The majority of TV stations and newspapers have been actively working for Fujimori in this election," said Levitsky.

The thought of another Fujimori government is so frightening that a number of prominent conservative Peruvian politicians have decided to endorse Humala. Among these is the Nobel prize-winning novelist Mario Vargas Llosa, who hates the Latin American left as much as anyone. Humala has also been endorsed by Alejandro Toledo, the former Peruvian president and contender in the first round of this election.

So why would Washington want Fujimori? The answer is quite simple: it's about Washington's waning influence and power in its former "backyard" of Latin America. In South America, there are now left-of-centre governments in Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Uruguay and Paraguay. These governments have a common position on most hemispheric issues (and sometimes, other international issues, such as the Middle East), and it often differs from that of Washington.

For example, when the Honduran military overthrew the country's elected left-of-centre president, Manuel Zelaya, in 2009, and the Obama administration sought to legitimise the coup government through elections that other governments would not recognise, it was Washington's few rightwing allies that first broke ranks with the rest of South America.

Prior to last August, the only governments in South America that Washington could count as allies were Chile, Peru and Colombia. But Colombia under President Manuel Santos is no longer a reliable ally, and currently has very good co-operative relations with Venezuela. If Humala wins, there is little doubt that he will join the rest of South America on most issues of concern to Washington. The same cannot be said of Keiko Fujimori.

And that is why Washington is worried about this election.

Mark Weisbrot is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington, DC. He is a regular contributor to The Guardian.

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2011 Elections | June 5, 2011 [ 10:46 ]

At Humala's breakfast: "Today should be a celebration and not a confrontation"

At Humala's breakfast:
Humala and his wife Nadine, and children Illary, Nayra and Samin during breakfast today at their house in Surco. (Photo: El Comercio)

Nationalist candidate Ollanta Humala had breakfast this morning with his wife Nadine and his three children Illary, Nayra and Samin at his house in Surco.

The Humalas had a guinea pig dish, tamales, orange and camu camu juice and bread. Local and foreign press covered the even as with Fujimori.

The ex military officer said he was “confident” about a normal and uneventful elections day today, despite some days ago his VP candidate Omar Chehade accused the government of orchestrating a fraud to support Fujimori's candidacy.

Humala said to a local television channel that Peruvians “should go and vote because it is an civic and moral obligation”.

“Regardless of who you vote for, it is important to see this day as a celebration and not as a confrontation,” he said. “Peru has to continue its growth after the elections.”

The nationalist candidate said that he will work to strengthen relations with neighboring countries if he is elected president.

He assured that Peru will not be an obstacle for Bolivia’s long time claim of obtaining an access to the ocean, eventhough he confirmed this is a bilateral issue between Bolivia and Chile.

“We understand that Bolivia’s maritime claim is a bilateral issue with Chile. It is not our business to interfere, but we will cooperate and will not be an obstacle for Bolivia's long historic claim,” he said to foreign press.

Humala said he will vote and later head to a hotel to wait the election results.

“We will probably be at Plaza Dos de Mayo in the evening to meet up with our followers,” he said. This is the same plaza where he held his end-of-campaign rally on Thursday night.

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2011 Elections | June 5, 2011 [ 9:27 ]

At Fujimori’s breakfast: “I trust God will guide our path”

At Fujimori’s breakfast: “I trust God will guide our path”
Keiko Fujimori and her family during today's breakfast. (Photo: El Comercio)

Presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori had breakfast this morning with her husband Mark Vito Villanella, her mother Susana Higuchi, and her siblings Kenyi and Sachi.

As usual in these occasions, local and foreign press were invited to the house of both candidates.

At Fujimori’s residence, situated in the eastern part of Lima, Keiko and her family had chicharrones (deep fried pork), "chapla" bread from Ayacucho, cheese from Cajamarca and of course... orange juice for breakfast.

Against all odds, Fujimori said she had a series of meetings with international observers and unions during Saturday, instead of taking a break after the end-of-campaign rally that took place on Thursday night.

Keiko said, “After that, my mother invited me to relax a bit. She cooked turkey, baked parmesan scallops, rice, sweet potatoes (…) we did relax. I took a nap since she was around with my kids.”

“During the evening I attended mass and thanked God, begging him to bless all Peruvian families, and hopefully guiding us in our path.”

Villanela, who could become today the First Gentleman if his wife is elected president, assured he will support Keiko doing social work.

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2011 Elections | June 5, 2011 [ 1:49 ]

Peru voters kick it off in Australia, Asia and Europe

Peru voters kick it off in Australia, Asia and Europe
Peruvians started voting in Australia and Japan around 5 p.m. on Saturday 4, due to the time zone difference of 15 hours. (Photo: Mario Castro/El Comercio)

Around 33 thousand Peruvian citizens started to vote early Sunday 5 in Australia and Asia, reported Peru's National Election Office, Onpe.

More than 2,000 people voted in Sydney, Australia on Sunday 4, starting 8 a.m. local time (Saturday 5 p.m., Lima time), almost one day before Peru, due to the time zone difference of 15 hours.

In Japan, around 20 thousand Peruvians started to vote Saturday starting 6 p.m. Lima time in 16 voting centers installed in the Peruvian consulates at Tokyo and Nagoya. Polls opened at the same time in South Korea.

Polls in China were opened at 7 p.m. Lima time, and one hour later in Thailand and Indonesia an hour later. In Russia, Peru voters started marking their ballots on Saturday too at 11 p.m. Lima time.

The amount of voters from these countries total 33,621, says León. The biggest percentage of voters comes from Japan, according to Onpe.

“We know there is a huge interest of Peruvian citizens to vote," says León, indicating that all voting material sent abroad arrived on time for the elections.

Polls in Europe at Peruvian embassies and consulates should open Sunday 5, between 1 and 2 a.m. Lima time.

According to Onpe estimates, there is a total 754,154 Peruvian citizens that will take part in today's presidential runoff in 64 countries worlwide.

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2011 Elections | June 5, 2011 [ 1:29 ]

20 million voters will elect Peru's president in today's runoff

20 million voters will finally elect Peru's president today
The voting schedule will go from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Photo: EFE)

No less than 20 million Peruvian citizens will vote today, Sunday 5, starting 8 a.m. local time, to elect Peru's new president in the most tight runoff in the country's recent history.

Around 22,000 members of police and military forces have been deployed since the beginning of this week to transport and distribute voting ballots and guarantee order and security to voters in all the country, said the Ministry of Defense.

There will be 103,622 voting tables installed and distributed in all 24 regions of Peru. The voting schedule will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Peruvians will elect their new president among nationalist Ollanta Humala (Gana Perú), and Keiko Fujimori (Fuerza 2011), after both had the highest number of votes in the previous round on April 10.

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