Peru’s Humala Prepares to Take Power

Posted July 27th, 2011 at 3:10 pm (UTC-5)
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Peruvian President-elect Ollanta Humala takes office Thursday, succeeding outgoing President Alan Garcia.

Mr. Humala was elected this past June in a runoff, defeating Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of imprisoned former president Alberto Fujimori. Much of the campaign focused on continuing Peru's rapid economic growth of recent years, while ensuring that the poor also see some of that increased prosperity.

Mr. Humala ran for president five years ago but was defeated by Mr. Garcia.

Back in 2006, Mr. Humala opposed a free trade agreement with the United States and pledged to limit foreign investment in Peru. Mr. Humala has since moderated his political discourse, and reports say he has pledged to follow Brazil's market-friendly model.

President-elect Humala is a leftist former army officer who launched a failed military coup in 2000 against then-president Fujimori. Mr. Humala's inauguration will coincide with Peru's Independence Day.

On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a statement congratulating the people of Peru as they celebrate the 190th anniversary of independence. She said the United States is a friend and partner to Peru.