Peru’s elections: Castillo claims victory by around 80,000 votes

With a difference of around 80,000 votes, Fujimori claims 500,000 votes are being challenged legally. Photo: MercoPress. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

LIMA, Jun 10, 2021, MercoPress. Leftwing candidate Pedro Castillo, from the Peru Libre party, Wednesday announced he had won the presidential runoff in Peru when votes were still being counted. But after the National Office of Electoral Processes (ONPE) had processed 99.98% of the votes, Castillo decided there was no use in waiting any longer despite his narrow lead over Fuerza Popular’s Keiko Fujimori, MercoPress reported.

Castillo had 50.22% of the votes, while the daughter of former President Alberto Fujimori reached 49.77%. Or 8,775,422 votes, against 8,696,376. The difference was only 79,046 votes.

In this scenario, Fujimori cried “fraud” and vowed to take action to reverse these results, while supporters of both parties marched through the streets.

Former Bolivian President Evo Morales has already congratulated Castillo “on this victory, which is the victory of the Peruvian people, but also of the Latin American people who want to live with social justice,“ seeing in Castillo ”a fraternal soul and companion in the struggle.“

In the first round, held on April 11, Castillo won with 19% of the votes, followed by Fujimori, who received 13% of the vote.

Fuerza Popular has announced it will seek the annulment of Castillo’s votes, especially in the centre and south of the country, where they claim there was “fraud”.

The disputed 802 minutes ”represent 200 thousand votes,“ Fujimori explained, meaning that if the annulments are granted those votes must with subtracted from the total tally.

Fujimori later added other minutes to the complaints, meaning there were ”500,000 votes are at stake,” although she insisted she would accept the final decision of the electoral authorities.

But according to Electoral law scholars only bribery, intimidation or violence are plausible causes for an annulment after election day.

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