Castillo declares himself president-elect of Peru

Lima, Jun 15 (EFE).- Leftist Pedro Castillo declared himself president-elect of Peru after ballot counting ended, giving him 50.12 percent of the votes in the run-off on June 6.

Although the National Jury of Elections is yet to proclaim the winner of the presidential poll, the announcement that the counting of votes had already ended with Castillo ahead of his right-wing opponent, Keiko Fujimori, led the former to declare himself president of the country.

Castillo addressed his supporters from the balcony of his party’s headquarters in downtown Lima.

“Today more than ever, the Peruvian people have raised their heads to say democratically that we are going to save this homeland,” said the teacher and candidate of the Free Peru party.

Castillo urged the electoral authorities to stop “once and for all, prolonging (the process) and respect the popular will of this country.”

“We are not communists, we are not Chavistas. We are workers, we are fighters, we are go-getters,” Castillo said in response to the polarization generated during the campaign.

Fujimori has not acknowledged her defeat and maintains it is necessary to wait for the conclusion of the review of the appealed results.

Her lawyers have challenged the results of some 200,000 votes, based on unsupported allegations of “systematic fraud,” and which are being examined by the various Special Electoral Juries of Peru.

Most of these claims have already been dismissed by the electoral authorities, although they can still be reviewed a second time.

However, the lack of evidence to justify the complaints makes it practically impossible that they are accepted, unless, as most analysts and legal experts in the country claim, the Peruvian constitution and laws are flagrantly violated.

The National Office of Electoral Processes said on Tuesday that it had concluded counting 100 percent of the ballots cast after which Castillo had obtained 50.12 percent of the votes and Fujimori had got 49.87 percent.

Castillo received a total of 8,835,579 votes, 44,058 more than Fujimori.

Fujimori told supporters gathered outside her party’s headquarters in Lima that “the most important thing is missing, which is the vote on the appealed records (…) and the more than 800 (polling station) results requested to be annulled.”

“We trust the electoral bodies, but above all we trust the will of the people, and we know that when they analyze these irregularities they will most likely agree with us,” she said.

The daughter of disgraced former president Alberto Fujimori urged her supporters to wait for the juries’ decision. EFE


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