August 2, 2021

In Peru, Pedro Castillo in the lead at the end of the count

The left-wing presidential candidate in Peru, Pedro Castillo, leading with 50.12% of the vote at the end of the count, rejected, Tuesday, June 15, calls to cancel the ballot for ” fraud “.

“They keep calling for the annulment of the election”Mr. Castillo told the foreign press at his party’s headquarters in Lima, in allusion to supporters of his right-wing opponent Keiko Fujimori who have called in recent days to cancel the second round of June 6.

“We are patiently awaiting the result”, added the candidate of the radical left, while the electoral authority continues to examine the appeals, filed mainly by the daughter of ex-president Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000).

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Evaluate the remedies

Keiko Fujimori said she was confident of winning the election because “The most important remains to be done”, namely to assess its remedies. “We have confidence in the electoral bodies and in the will of the people. We know that when they analyze these irregularities, they will prove us right ”, said the right-wing candidate.

According to the last official count covering 100% of the ballots, nine days after the ballot, Mr. Castillo is in the lead with 50.12% against 49.87% for his opponent, or about 45,000 votes ahead for the teacher and 51-year-old trade unionist.

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The rate of participation in the ballot, described as « positive » and without “Serious irregularities” by the electoral observation mission of the Organization of American States (OAS), reached 74.5% according to the electoral authorities in this country where voting is compulsory.

Butme Fujimori, 46, who is in the crosshairs of justice for a corruption case, denounces « cheats » and called for the invalidation of several tens of thousands of ballots.

“Wait calmly for the results”

On Monday, a retired MP and admiral, Jorge Montoya, called for the cancellation of the ballot and the holding of “New elections with international observers”, believing that the Peruvian electoral system “No longer offers confidence”. Mr. Montoya is one of 64 retired generals and admirals who, in agreement with Keiko Fujimori, questioned the transparency of the presidential runoff. The defense ministry said in a statement that this group of retired officers “Does not represent the armed forces”.

Former right-wing parliamentarian Victor Andrés Garcia Belaunde warned on television on Sunday about the uncertainty surrounding the ballot, adding that if the counting process were to continue until July 28, the expiration date Under the tenure of interim president Francisco Sagasti, the head of the new parliament could assume the presidency and call new elections. “I think we should not rush let alone use inappropriate words like fraud and calmly wait for the results ”, urged Mr. Sagasti.

“Democracy has rules and deadlines that we must all respect”, however, warned Cardinal Pedro Barreto on RPP radio on Tuesday about calls for the cancellation of elections. The Catholic Church ” is available “ for mediation, once the official results have been announced, he added.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, called on Monday for “Calm to avoid new social divides” in the country of 33 million people.

Demonstrations by supporters of the two candidates

No date has yet been given for the announcement of the final results and the electoral authority is under pressure from supporters of the two candidates who demonstrate daily in front of its premises in Lima.

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Dozens of supporters of the right-wing candidate also meet every day in front of the homes of the presidents of the National Electoral Office (ONPE) in charge of organizing the poll and of the National Electoral Jury (JNE) in charge of examining disputes. and recourse.

“Such a call for new elections shows that we want to provoke violence”, regretted in front of the foreign press the candidate for the vice-presidency of Mr. Castillo, Dina Boluarte. “The position taken by a right-wing group is seditious, but the country is calm”, estimated the analyst Hugo Otero, former adviser to the former social democratic president Alan Garcia. Peruvian academic Lucia Dammert, who resides in Chile, said on Twitter what “When you lose an election, you have to take responsibility for your mistakes”.

Peru is marked by strong institutional instability at the origin of many political crises in recent years. The last, in November 2020, led the country to have three presidents in one week.

The World with AFP