July 25, 2021

In Peru, still no official winner but Pedro Castillo is getting closer to victory

Every day, the soap opera of the presidential election result of Sunday, June 6 holds 33 million Peruvians in suspense. And every day, its share of twists and turns pushes back the epilogue. Thursday evening June 10, the country still did not have an official winner.

The radical left candidate, Pedro Castillo, a campaign teacher and trade unionist, distances his right-wing rival by some 62,000 votes and is likely to be the next president. But Keiko Fujimori, who was running for the third time in a presidential election, decided to do everything to block his path.

She who had already denounced suspected “Evidence of fraud”, “Systematic”, the day after the poll, without any proof, reiterates. She is now putting down her last card: she is demanding the invalidity of hundreds of polling stations and the cancellation of thousands of ballots, aided by an armada of large law firms.

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“We have received a lot of information in the last forty-eight hours, she said during a press conference on Wednesday evening, scrupulously analyzed by [notre] legal team. (…) Fuerza Popular [le parti de la candidate] presents measures to invalidate 802 polling stations [représentant] approximately 200,000 votes (…) which will have to be withdrawn from the final count ”. His lawyers invoke alleged false signatures of members of the offices or the falsification of results, without providing proof for the moment.

Opening of a legal battle

An announcement that looks like a gesture of desperation and that did not surprise his opponents. Already in 2016, during the second round against Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, she had waited several days before recognizing her defeat. On social networks, many political commentators have quipped in recent days: ” The big news would have been that she does not dispute the results ”.

Independent observers, international as well as national, have reiterated their confidence in the ballot, welcoming its good progress. Nevertheless, a legal battle opens: that of the examination of hundreds of thousands of disputed ballots which could postpone the official announcement of the results even further by several days, or even weeks.

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Right-wing candidate Keiko Fujimori appears at a press conference in Liman on June 10, 2021.

Keiko Fujimori’s maneuvers, criticized as being deeply undemocratic, are an uncertain gamble. Also, the anti-corruption prosecutor José Domingo Perez, the same one who requested, last March, thirty years in prison against him in the case of the secret financing of his previous electoral campaigns, asks for his return to prison for having violated the rules for his release on bail, obtained in May 2020 thanks to the epidemic. Mme Fujimori has indeed appeared in recent days alongside one of the witnesses of the trial when he was prohibited from coming into contact with them.

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