Alan Garcia staged a remarkable comeback in Peru’s run-off election, beating a fiery nationalist backed by Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez to regain control of the country 16 years after his first presidential term ended in economic ruin and rebel violence.
“I want our party this time to demonstrate to the Peruvian people, who have called it to the highest responsibilities, that it will not convert the state into booty,” Garcia said, referring to widespread corruption that marked his first term from 1985-90, when tens of thousands of party members landed state jobs.
Garcia said voters in yesterday’s run-off had sent an overwhelming message to Chavez, the anti-American leader of Venezuela.
They rejected the “strategy of expansion of a militaristic, retrograde model that he has tried to impose in South America,” Gracia said.
Chavez had endorsed Ollanta Humala. Garcia, 57, held an insurmountable lead of 53.5% against 46.5% for Humala with 91% of the vote counted, Peru’s national electoral authority said today.