June 6 - Peruvians say they are ready to move forward after voting in left-wing former army commander Ollanta Humala their next president. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Former army commander Ollanta Humala claims victory in Peru's presidential election as investors worry that his left-wing policies could put an end to a long running economic boom. On Sunday night Humala spoke to his supporters. SOUNDBITE: Peru President elect Ollanta Humala, saying (Spanish): "The electoral campaign has concluded and, on July 28, the president of all Peruvians will assume responsibility, to continue the work of consolidating our economic growth. This economic growth will be the great engine of the social inclusion for which Peruvians yearn and which is produced by the mandate at the polls." Humala, who narrowly lost the presidency in 2006, has since toned down his more radical anti-capitalist policies to try to win over centrist voters. He vows to run a balanced budget, bring experienced technocrats into his government and respect foreign investors. Still, business leaders fear he will jeopardize the country's recent economic success. Some Lima residents dismiss those concerns. SOUNDBITE: Lima resident, saying (Spanish): "Big business leaders are nervous but they should relax because Ollanta has said, especially in the last part, to remain calm." The election campaign polarized Peru with polls showing both leading candidates are disliked by as many as half of all voters. Peru is one of the world's fastest-growing economies over the last decade and is a top metals exporter, but a third of Peruvians still live in poverty. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters