Fujimori leads ‘fraud’ protest as Castillo calls for calm

Lima, Jun 12 (EFE).- Peruvian presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori starred Saturday in a protest rally in the historic center of Lima along with thousands of her supporters alleging fraud in last weekend’s polls, while expected winner Pedro Castillo called for people to remain calm and not to fall for “provocation.”

Fujimori addressed her supporters from a platform on a truck that displayed a large slogan that read “democracy yes, communism, no.”

“This is the most democratic expression of what 50 percent of Peruvians represent,” the candidate of the right-wing Fuerza Popular party said.

She reiterated that since last Monday her party began to receive complaints from citizens of “hundreds of irregularities” allegedly committed during the election, and for that reason, her party presented more than 800 requests for the annulment of votes before the National Jury of Elections (JNE).

Fujimori claimed Castillo’s party, Peru Libre, does not want these annulment requests to be analyzed “because they have a dirty conscience.”

Meanwhile, Castillo called for calm and asked his followers “not to fall for the provocation” of his opponent.

“Peace of mind to the compatriots who have mobilized, peace of mind. Today is the time when serenity, responsibility, and coolness are needed,” the candidate of the leftist Peru Libre party told reporters.

“We are at a critical moment and I believe that the Peruvian people have to understand that, above all, today is no longer campaigning time, it is the time of true democracy,” he said.

The National Elections Office (ONPE) updated the figures of last Sunday’s elections, which at 99.925 percent counted give Castillo an advantage of 49,710 votes over Fujimori.

The candidate of the Peru Libre party has received, so far, 50.14 percent of the vote and the candidate of the Fuerza Popular party 49.86 percent.

The small percentage of votes processed but still to be counted is comprised of 65 voting sheets that must be reviewed by the JNE for presenting a material error, challenge or lack of signatures, among other matters.

However, the JNE will not proclaim the winner of the elections until the hundreds of annulment requests, most of them by Fujimori, are reviewed.

Experts on electoral issues point out that this process can take between one and two weeks, after which the JNE will be able to proclaim a winner. EFE


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