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Ollanta Humala is the New President of Peru

by David Schneider
(Los Organos, Peru)

Ollanta Humala - 2006

Ollanta Humala - 2006

With 88% of the votes in at last count, Ollanta Humala is assured of being Peru's new president. He takes office on July 28th, 2011.

What does that mean for Peru? I personally don't believe there will be much change overall, but of course that remains to be seen.

Many Peruvians were disgusted with the two choices they had and did not vote or voted reluctantly.

This second election was a runoff between the two highest vote-getters at the initial presidential election earlier this. Since neither of the two had more than 50% of the votes, a runoff election was necessary according to Peruvian law.

However, many have reflected that this situation led to polarization between the extreme right wing led by Keiko Fujimori (daughter of ex-president Fujimori who was convicted and jailed for his atrocities) and Ollanta Humala, a left-wing radicalist in the past.

The feeling is that since neither of the two had the support of a majority, then neither of the two represents the people of Peru.

Fernando de Szyszlo, reknowned Peruvian artist, stated, "I'm sorry, I'm not going to vote for either one."

In a conversation with his friend, Pulitzer Prize winning author Mario Vargas Llosa, De Szyszlo said that he just did not believe the candidates. Referring to Humala, Vargas Llosa's belated choice, he stated that he felt nobody can change long-time beliefs as Humala has said he would.

Humala has always been a leftist and was defeated in a prior election because of his close ties to another anti-USA leftist, Chavez of Venezuela.

Humala has been saying that he has mellowed out on his previously-extreme posture, but de Szyszlo reflected the opinion of many that Humala (as well as the other candidate, Keiko Fujimori) will say whatever is needed to get the votes.

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