Peru’s electoral body declared socialist Pedro Castillo as the country’s next president on Monday, after he won the runoff on June 6 over right-wing contender Keiko Fujimori, who accepted the outcome but said she had been misled.
Fujimori’s efforts to have some ballots annulled due to allegations of fraud had caused the official outcome to be delayed. Despite this, she stated that she was obligated by law to accept the National Jury of Elections’ decision.
“I proclaim Pedro Castillo as president of the republic and Dina Boluarte as first vice president,” elections chief Jorge Salas said during a televised ceremony on Monday night.
Earlier in the day, Fujimori said she would recognize the official result “because it is what the law and the constitution that I have sworn to defend, mandates. The truth is going to come out anyway.”
“They have stolen thousands of votes from us,” Fujimori, the daughter of jailed former President Alberto Fujimori,told a news conference. She called on her followers to protest.
“We have the right to mobilize … but in a peaceful manner and within the framework of the law,” she said.
In Lima, Peru, on July 19, 2021, leftist Pedro Castillo celebrates from the offices of the “Free Peru” party after Peru’s electoral commision declared him the victor of the presidential election. Sebastian Castaneda/REUTERS
The election was declared free and fair by the Organization of American States, the European Union, and the United Kingdom. The statement was greeted with a tweet from the US Embassy in Lima. “We value our good ties with Peru and look forwards to strengthening them with President-elect Pedro Castillo following his inauguration on July 28,” read the post.
Castillo called for national unity in his first words as president-elect. “In the quest to establish this a just and independent country, I ask for labour and sacrifice,” he stated.
Castillo, a 51-year-old former schoolteacher and son of peasant farmers, has promised to rewrite the constitution and increase taxes on mining companies. Peru is the second-largest copper producer in the world.
In recent weeks, though, he has toned down his rhetoric and hinted at a more moderate, market-friendly attitude.
On Monday, Castillo stated that he will work for economic stability.
“I ask that Keiko Fujimori not place barriers in the way, so that we may move forward and make this a government of all Peruvians,” he said.