Pedro Castillo, the presidential candidate of the socialist Free Peru party, claimed a likely victory in Peru’s presidential election. Castillo made the claim in spite of opponent Keiko Fujimori’s insistence that she would not concede until all votes were officially counted. Fujimori represents the conservative Popular Force party.
Thus far, 99.935% of all ballots have been tallied. Castillo has accumulated 50.14% of all possible votes thus far. He appears all but certain to become the 63rd President of Peru and succeed Francisco Sagasti. Sagasti has only been in the position for a short time, having become the South American country’s president in November 2020.
Speaking to many of his supporters on Saturday night in Lima, Castillo said, “The people have already chosen their path. No more polarization in the country. Let us leave it to the authorities so that once and for all these things are no longer prolonged and so the popular will is respected.” Castillo also called on electoral authorities to complete the counting of the votes as soon as possible.
Claims of Electoral Fraud
Both candidates are currently separated by 49,420 votes. This total represents less than 0.3 percentage points. Fujimori, the daughter of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori, claims that acts of fraud took place during the election. She is currently aiming to annul up to 200,000 votes.
Leading a protest in downtown Lima on Saturday, Fujimori reiterated her refusal to concede until the results were to be regarded as official.
The Free Peru party has vehemently denied all accusations of fraud during the election. Several international observers of the election have also said that the election was transparent.
Accusations of fraud began to arise after Castillo was congratulated on his presumed victory by several leftist Latin American political leaders. These messages prompted official protests from the current government of Peru. The government implored all parties involved to wait until the electoral body’s official announcement of the result before making any direct claims.
Whoever is named the new President of Peru will take office on July 28. The most pressing matter which awaits the new president is the sheer intensity of the Covid-19 pandemic in Peru. Peru has recorded more Covid-19 deaths per capita than any other country. Economic revival and reduction of the national poverty rate are also key challenges to be tackled by the new president.
Should Castillo become the president, Peru would subsequently become the third country in South America to have a socialist government. The other two are Argentina and Venezuela.
The Free Peru party won 37 out of 130 congressional seats during the general election. A total of 66 seats are needed to form a majority.
14th June 2021 16:07
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