Peru picks a new president in run-off

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Peru picks a new president in run-off

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Peruvians are going to the polls in a run-off Presidential election that pits a former leader who brought economic ruin in the 1980’s against an ex-army nationalist who is promising a revolution against the rich. Polls suggest center-left former President Alan Garcia is likely to beat Ollanta Humala in a bitterly fought election that’s seen street fights, egg-throwing and a shootout between rival supporters.

Garcia, once dubbed Latin America’s Kennedy, is the favourite because he is seen as the lesser of two evils and a moderate who is less hostile to business. Humala promises revolution in favour of the country’s poor; he came top in the first round of voting, but will need to widen his support base if he is to repeat his success in the runoff. With both candidates calling for more state control of the economy, the election is another sign of a shift to the left in Latin America, where millions of voters are tired of free market reforms that have done little to improve living conditions.