There will have been no tears of joy to celebrate a victory that is not yet quite one, but cries of relief: «Yes it could! » (“We succeeded”), chanted supporters of Pedro Castillo, gathered in front of the premises of his party, Peru Libre, Tuesday evening, June 15, in Lima. After nine days of endless tallying and 100% of the ballots counted, Mr Castillo, 51, is the virtual winner in the presidential election, with 50.12% and 44,058 votes ahead of Keiko Fujimori – more than the difference 40,000 votes obtained by ex-president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski against the same candidate in 2016. But his supporters, like him, remained cautious. Because, officially, Peru still does not have an elected president.
The right-wing candidate, Mme Fujimori, embarked on a legal offensive the day after the June 6 election to challenge the results. His party, Fuerza Popular, has filed numerous appeals and demanded the invalidation of thousands of votes for alleged irregularities. Some of his supporters are even calling for the election to be canceled and for a new ballot to be called. “We have confidence in the electoral bodies and in the will of the people. We know that, when they analyze these irregularities, they are most likely to prove us right ”, affirmed the candidate of right after the publication of the results to 100%.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the public body for the defense of the people declared “Not to have noticed any attempt to flout the popular will” during the ballot, dismissing the accusations of “Systematic fraud”, just as all the independent national and international observers had done before him. Now, the thousands of contested votes are in the hands of the National Election Jury, which will have the final say on whether or not to invalidate these ballots. Deliberation could still last several days, or even weeks, before the final verdict.
“A new era has begun, nevertheless assured Pedro Castillo in a brief message posted on social networks. Millions of Peruvians have stood up in defense of their dignity and justice. Thank you to the peoples of all of Peru who, in their diversity and with historical strength, have placed their trust in me. “
Vote for a system change
Almost unknown to a large part of Peruvians a few months ago, Pedro Castillo, trade unionist and campaign teacher in northern Peru, therefore won the presidential election. A score that is a miracle when we know how much the media and economic system has united against him, deploying a real fear campaign to discredit a candidate accused of wanting to establish “A communist government”. In recent days, several journalists from major television channels have been fired after publicly denouncing, within their editorial staff, a clearly partisan editorial line in favor of candidate Fujimori and a clear lack of professionalism during the campaign.
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