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Artigo na Oxford Analytica, "Humalla will not bring abrupt change in Peru":


Ollanta Humala's narrow victory yesterday over Keiko Fujimori represents a swing to the Left, albeit limited by his commitment to maintain the free-market model that has produced strong growth in recent years. It ends a campaign of recrimination in which two ideologically opposed candidates struggled to prevail but opinion polls showed them evenly matched. To attract centrist voters, especially in the key battleground of Lima, Humala was forced to project a more moderate image than early campaign literature suggested.

What next

Humala takes over from Alan Garcia on July 28. Fears that a Humala administration would lead to an abrupt leftward shift in economic policy are exaggerated. To reassure markets, Humala is likely to choose a fairly conservative figure to occupy the key post of finance minister. An announcement may take place soon. A Humala government will seek to place greater emphasis on social policy. With respect to foreign policy, relations with Brazil are likely to become the key reference point. 


With 87.6% of the vote officially counted, Humala was leading Fujimori, daughter of former President Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000), by 50.9-49.1% of valid votes. Since much of this came from urban areas, it seems likely that the final tally will give a slightly larger margin to Humala, as his vote was particularly strong in more remote rural and indigenous parts of the country. Official figures were closer than those suggested at the close of voting, both by exit polls and rapid count. 
A likely Humala victory -- Fujimori has yet to concede defeat -- is also consistent with polls reputable polling organisations conducted in the last days of the campaign. Because of electoral rules, these results were not published within the country, but were widely available through foreign websites. 
Both partial official results and previous estimates show Humala winning in most of Peru's departments, except Lima and some in the north, which historically have been strongholds of the ruling APRA party. Humala sought to appeal to voters in the capital in the second round campaign, and appears to have garnered sufficient support to secure overall victory. 

Campaign dynamics

Since the first round on April 10 (see PERU: Fujimori has runoff advantage - April 12, 2011), in which Humala won 31.7% and Fujimori 23.5% of valid votes, the two have been level. Until the last week, it seemed that Fujimori had a slight advantage (see PERU: Fujimori has second round edge - May 19, 2011), leading by up to four percentage points, according to some polls. However, the tide appeared to change in recent days:
  • The Humala campaign successfully attacked Fujimori as heralding a return to the corruption and autocracy that characterised her father's government. Fujimori's choice of collaborators, many of whom were stalwart supporters of her father's government, did not help her. Her campaign failed to broaden its base after the first round.
  • Humala managed to convince voters that his shift towards more consensual, centrist politics was genuine, and a Humala government did not represent a threat to continuity in the impressive pattern of growth in recent years. He managed to attract a number of prominent centrist economists, some of whom were important in the centre-right administration of former President Alejando Toledo (2001-06).
  • By focusing on social policy, Humala responded to a deep-felt need to make Peru's growth model work better for poorer groups in society, especially in rural and more indigenous areas far from the capital (see PERU: Humala, Fujimori promise inclusive growth - April 25, 2011). The Garcia government (2006-11) stands accused of failing to ensure that trickle-down trickled further.

Humala agenda

Despite his reputation as a left-wing nationalist close to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Humala opted for a centre-left position built on a quest for consensus. Furthermore, he will lack a majority in Congress, and need to look for cross-party support to pass legislation. The campaign for the presidency -- both in the first and second round -- made clear that there is no strong appetite for radical change:
  • Economic policy. In his speech to supporters, Humala yesterday stressed the need to maintain business confidence and continue attracting foreign investment. The more radical-sounding aspects of his original 'government plan' were dropped during the campaign, including revising trade liberalisation agreements and aspects of the 1993 constitution that provide guarantees to investors. During the second round, Humala came up with a 'road map', which was markedly more conciliatory to business interests. However, like other candidates, he remains committed to introducing a windfall tax to ensure that the Treasury benefits from spikes in mineral prices.
  • Social policy. Humala has promised to introduce new policies to improve the lot of the poor. These include a universal pension for those over 65. This is a policy adopted in neighbouring Bolivia, albeit for those over 60. A key challenge facing a Humala administration will be to improve the mechanisms by which social benefits are distributed. He will probably seek advice from Brazil, where social programmes have been conspicuously successful in reducing poverty and inequality. In Peru, this might mean expanding conditional cash transfer (CCT) programmes like Juntos, first introduced by Toledo but downplayed by Garcia.
  • Decentralisation. The process of decentralisation will probably be accelerated under a Humala administration. His most fervent support comes from outside Lima, traditionally the hub of a highly centralised administrative apparatus. Part of the explanation for Humala's success is his alliance with important regional political figures who will expect to benefit in return. However, Humala will need to square demands for greater fiscal decentralisation with the need to ensure this does not lead to irresponsible fiscal policies that jeopardise macroeconomic stability.
  • Foreign policy. His reputation for being anti-Chilean seems unlikely to influence policy towards Peru's southern neighbour, unless relations sour for other reasons. Both countries are involved in international litigation over their maritime frontier. A Humala government will seek to privilege Brazil as the key foreign policy reference point, avoiding becoming ensnared with relations with Venezuela. Brazil provided significant advice and assistance to the Humala campaign. Humala will seek to improve hitherto fractious relations with Bolivia. Most importantly, a Humala government would seek to maintain friendly relations with Washington -- albeit possibly more distant than his predecessor.


    • Peru has shown itself evenly divided throughout the campaign.
    • Humala convinced moderate opinion that a vote for Fujimori was a vote for the sort of governance that characterised her father's government.
    • A Humala government will not lead to abrupt change in economic policy, but greater attention to dealing with social deprivation.
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