Saturday 10/16/21
LATIN AMERICA

Marxist Castillo wins presidential election in Peru

Castillo, 51, wants to build a socialist state, tighten control of the media and abolish the constitutional court
26 June 2021, Peru, Lima: Supporters of the left-wing presidential candidate Castillo take part in a demonstration. Photo: Adrian Portugal/dpa
Supporters of the left-wing presidential candidate Castillo take part in a demonstration in Lima. Photo: Adrian Portugal/dpa.

Marxist village schoolteacher Pedro Castillo has won Peru's presidential election, the National Election Board (JNE) said on Monday.

The candidate of the Marxist-Leninist Peru Libre party received 50.12 per cent of the vote to right-wing populist Keiko Fujimori's 49.87 per cent in the June 6 election, according to the country's electoral body ONPE.

The country's supreme electoral body proclaimed Castillo winner of the close run off race after weeks of complaints and appeals, mostly from the Fujimori camp. Castillo won by just over 44,000 ballots, according to ONPE.

Fujimori, 46, was initially leading, but the tide turned when the votes from rural areas, where Castillo has strong support, were counted.

She alleged "irregularities" in the counting and "signs of fraud," in allegations dismissed by ONPE. Election observers of the Organization of American States (OAS) also declared that the election had taken place without any major irregularities.

On Monday, Fujimori said in a televised address that she would "accept the results because that's what the law and the constitution that she has sworn to defend prescribe."

Build a socialist state

More than 25 million Peruvians were called on to cast their ballots in the election. The turnout topped 18 million.

Castillo, 51, wants to build a socialist state, tighten control of the media and abolish the constitutional court.

Fujimori, who had planned if she won to pardon her father, former authoritarian president Alberto Fujimori, stood for a neoliberal economic policy and a hard-line security strategy.

In recent years, she has been remanded in custody several times and could face a long prison sentence in an ongoing corruption trial.

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