Peru election results: Left-wing Humala wins and markets plunge


Andean indigenous women wearing traditional clothes look for their registration number at a polling station in the town of Aguas Calientes under the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, during the presidential elections on June 5, 2011.


Aurelio Alejo

Financial markets in Peru plunged on the news that left-winger Ollanta Humala won the presidential election.

Rival candidate and daughter of jailed former President Alberto Fujimori, Keiko Fujimori, conceded defeat Monday in the runoff after Humala won more than 51.5 percent of the vote with results in from 92 percent of ballot boxes, Reuters reports.

Humala used his victory speech to vow to help Peru's poor share in the country's mineral wealth and economic growth, BBC states.

Peru's stock market plunged on the news. The main index sank 12.5 percent before trading was suspended, it states.

His senior advisers tried to reassure investors that Humala, a former army commander, will handle the economy prudently.

However, many investors did not believe them. Instead, investors feared that Peru would now try to squeeze more profits from the resource sector, the Globe and Mail reports. Mining companies, for one, are now expected to pay higher tax and royalty rates.

“Financial markets are not enthralled. Go figure,” Scotia Capital economists Derek Holt and Karen Cordes Woods said in a note Monday to the Globe and Mail. “At stake is progress that has allowed Peru to pursue years of strong growth and turn aside its political problems of the past.”

Investors and many Peruvians are scared of what Humala will do to the nation's economy because he ran on a much more radical platform in 2006.

In that failed attempt at the presidency, Humala vowed to intervene in the economy and put Peru on a path like that of Venezuela, the Washington Post reports. Now, he insists he's a moderate centrist.

But Peruvians aren't sure which man will lead the country.

“It’s the big question we are all asking ourselves,” Alfredo Torres, who directs the Ipsos Apoyo polls in Lima, told the Washington Post.

The BBC reports that this was one of the country's tightest and bitterest presidential elections.

A first round of elections on April 10 failed to give either candidate the 50 percent of the vote needed to win.