LIMA – Leftist candidate Ollanta Humala has declared himself the winner of Sunday’s presidential elections in Peru, after initial results gave him a narrow lead over rival Keiko Fujimori, daughter of the disgraced former president, France 24 reports. Peru’s national election board (ONPE) had processed more than 80 per cent of all ballots early on Monday morning and would offer official results later in the day. It also said 85 per cent of Peru’s 20 million voters had participated in the poll. “The Peruvian people have made their verdict. It has been a civic act and I thank you for the vote of confidence,” Humala said in a short speech at a Lima hotel where his campaign team awaited the results of the vote on Sunday. According to Venezuelan television Telesur, candidate Keiko Fujimori quietly left the hotel where her camp had assembled. The 35-year-old congresswoman is the daughter of disgraced ex-president Alberto Fujimori. Unofficial results based on exit polls by the trusted polling agency Ipsos Apoyo and the independent election watchdog Transparencia also gave Humala a narrow victory. Humala later addressed hundreds of supporters gathered in the capital city’s historic centre.
After waving the Peruvian flag the former army commander told the cheering crowd he was renewing his promise to maintain the country’s recent economic growth while promoting social programmes. “We have waited a long time, we have long wished for a government that is truly concerned with the poor,” Hulama said. C omparisons with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, which includes their military backgrounds, were key to Humala’s defeat to President Alan Garcia in Peru’s last presidential elections. The only candidate placed squarely on the left, Humala, a former army commander, has nonetheless made efforts to cast a more moderate image during this election contest. Nobel Literature Prize laureate Mario Vargas Llosa also said he would vote for Humala.