Peruvians returned to the polls yesterday to choose between the two presidential candidates, Ollanta and Fujimori, who one famous commentator here described as like choosing between AIDS and terminal cancer. The votes are nearly all counted and it’s been one of the closest elections in Peruvian history (which when you consider that democracy has never survived more than 12 years here perhaps isn’t saying all that much!), but it seems that Ollanta is to emerge triumphant.

What next for Peru? Ollanta, from the left, is heavily linked with Hugo Chavez’s regime in Venezuela (it is widely accepted that his campaign was funded from Caracas). He seeks more state involvement in the economy and has promised to make sure that Peruvians benefit from their country’s wealth, rather than big multinationals. How he does this without driving away much needed foreign investment remains to be seen.

So too, in Ollanta, the Peruvian people now have a president who has far from a squeaky clean image. His brother is in prison for and has implicated the new president in human rights atrocities committed during the years of terrorism in the 1980s and 1990s whilst serving in the Peruvian army. He himself led a short-lived rebellion against the elected government in 2000. Whether he is the right man to pull together a deeply divided nation will only be known in time.

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