Peru: Garcia Beats Humala to Presidency

Peru's former president Alan Garcia is set to become the country's next leader, securing over 53% of the vote with approximately 91% of ballots counted by Monday morning.

His opponent in the head to head second round ballot on Sunday was Ollanta Humala, whose association with Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez appears to have cost him, with significant numbers of voters backing Garcia in a rejection of perceived interference from Caracas.

Chavez had directly and personally criticized Garcia during the election campaign.

Garcia's campaign pledges included the creation of a fund for the development of hydro, wind and solar power generation projects and a program to add ethanol to gasoline sold in the country.

The Aprista party's 2006-11 government plan also said a Garcia administration would evaluate all energy contracts signed with the state and renegotiate those that negatively affect the country's interests due to a lack of equity or transparency.

Garcia will restructure state oil company Petroperu into an integrated company which can establish strategic alliances for E&P and the modernization of refineries.

The Aprista government also plans to build natural gas-fired power plants, revise the procedures for fixing electricity tariffs and attempt to eliminate transmission bottlenecks in Peru's power grid.

Garcia is due to take over from current President Alejandro Toledo on July 28.

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