Pedro Castillo very close to becoming Peru's new president

Peru Libre candidate leads rival Keiko Fujimori by almost 70,000 votes with 99.8% of the votes counted
Peruvian left-wing presidential candidate for the Peru Libre party, Pedro Castillo

AFP/ERNESTO BENAVIDES  -   Peruvian left-wing presidential candidate for the Peru Libre party, Pedro Castillo

Three days have passed since the second round of the presidential elections in Peru, and there is still no official result from the ONPE (National Office of Electoral Processes). At the moment, the left-wing candidate leads Keiko Fujimori by almost 70,000 votes. For Fujimori, the battle is not lost, as she has submitted several voting records to a revision process, where 500,000 votes are in dispute. Yesterday in a press conference, the conservative candidate said: "If we add 802 polling stations where irregularities have occurred, which represents more or less 200,000 votes, and we add the same number of observed polling stations, which represent 300,000 votes, there are still 500,000 votes at stake here, half a million votes". The final decision will be taken by the Electoral Jury, which will have to analyse whether it finds any type of nullity or change in the votes that are being reviewed. 

Simpatizantes del candidato presidencial Pedro Castillo marchan en Lima, Perú, el 9 de junio de 2021
AP/MARTIN MEJIA - Supporters of presidential candidate Pedro Castillo march in Lima, Peru, on 9 June 2021.

In the city of Lima this week, there have been several demonstrations by supporters of both candidates, and the police have had to guard the ONPE headquarters to avoid further delaying the process of recounting the contested votes.  Meanwhile, the Peruvian Army announced to the citizens to remain calm and urged them to respect the time and the due electoral process after Pedro Castillo was declared the winner in advance. "The Ministry of Defence and the armed institutions reiterate their commitment to the Constitution, democracy and the principle of neutrality assumed by the Transitional and Emergency Government. We also reaffirm our commitment to respect the will of the people as expressed at the ballot box on 6 June, as it should be. In addition, we urge all Peruvians to respect the results of the electoral process and to work together to strengthen democracy and promote the development of the country. We call for unity above all our differences," said the Ministry's communiqué. 

La candidata presidencial Keiko Fujimori
PHOTO/AP - The presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori

According to the militants and interveners of the Peru Libre party, they have enough votes to proclaim Pedro Castillo president, despite the fact that the process is still in the process of processing the contested electoral records. Throughout the election day of 6 June, Pedro Castillo asked his voters to remain vigilant in the streets of Peru, to watch over the votes until the last moment, "thank you for being vigilant of the people's will, thank you for your vigilance. I call on the electoral authorities to be respectful for our country. Let us not sully the will of the people". On the other hand, the former president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, congratulated the candidate on Twitter: "Pedro Castillo, brother of the soul and comrade in struggle, you are the pride of the social movements and patriotic professionals. Congratulations 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".

Un policía hace guardia mientras trabajadores de la Oficina Nacional de Procesos Electorales (ONPE) de Perú distribuyen material electoral en centros de votación en el Callao, cerca de Lima, el 5 de junio de 2021
AFP/LUKAS GONZALEZ - A policeman stands guard as workers of Peru's National Office of Electoral Processes (ONPE) distribute electoral material at polling stations in Callao, near Lima, on June 5, 2021.

On the other hand, Keiko Fujimori denounced the attitude of the supporters of Peru Libre, by not respecting the times and stages of the contestation of the different electoral records, and, like Castillo, We have noticed that there has been a strategy on the part of Perú Libre to distort or delay the results that reflect the will of the people, and I am referring to the process of challenging the electoral reports, where the majority, above all, are trying to prevent the reports with the highest votes for Fuerza Popular from not being counted," said Fujimori. In the next few days we will know the decision of the Electoral Jury, giving an official winner to see who will be the new president of Peru.

Latin America Coordinator: José Antonio Sierra.