The National Organization of Electoral Processes of Peru (Onpe) announced on Tuesday (15) the end of the counting of votes for the presidential election in the country. The result, which still depends on the National Electoral Jury (JNE), responsible for analyzing the demands to challenge the voting records, gives leftist Pedro Castillo the victory, by 50.1%, against right-hander Keiko Fujimori, who obtained 49.8%.
The candidate asked for the revision of 300,000 votes and the annulment of 200,000 others. Thus, the delivery of the JNE decision can take days or even weeks. If the results are confirmed, Keiko will have lost the presidential election by a difference of 44,058 votes, a figure slightly higher than the 2016 loss to Pedro Pablo Kuczynski. At the time, 41,057 supporters separated the two candidates.
When the announcement was made on Tuesday, there were Castillo and Keiko supporters outside the Electoral Body building in Lima. While those of the high school teacher celebrated, those of the daughter of former dictator Alberto Fujimori continued to echo the claim that there had been fraud in the conflict.
After the count ended, Castillo said “they are trying to overturn the result of this election, but that will not happen”. “The time has come for people who have never had a voice.”
Current Peruvian President Acting Francisco Sagasti said the second round of the election was “flawless and flawless” and “caution should be exercised when using words as fraud” .
In the aftermath of the vote, after being overtaken by Castillo in the ballot, Keiko accused the existence of “systemic fraud” and was contradicted by international observers.
The observation mission of the Inter-American Union of Electoral Bodies, for example, presented a report in which it affirms that the election was conducted smoothly and successfully. The statement was corroborated by the 40-member OAS Election Observation Mission that any non-compliance “did not compromise the election as a whole” and could be “resolved by legal means. “.
At a press conference, Keiko presented videos and photos as supposed evidence that the election records – a sort of summary of the ballot in the sections – had been altered. The records would also indicate the training given to Castillo officials and inspectors to commit illegal acts that would ensure their victory.
In Peru, it is the heads of the polling stations who collect the votes of each place in one minute, watched by other officials. One of the videos featured shows a Castillo supporter ordering board members to arrive before other section members to ensure they could check the minutes.
When he appeared in front of Castillo in the first reports released by Onpe, with nearly six percentage points ahead, Keiko reacted sparingly and urged his constituents to be cautious, saying there was no neither winner nor loser in the elections and defending the unity of the Peruvians.
The candidate’s speech changed tone, however, as the count progressed and Castillo led.
If the leftist wins, he will be the first Peruvian president unrelated to political, economic and cultural elites. Trade unionist and high school teacher, he became known for having led teachers’ strikes, the most famous of them in 2017. Castillo defends higher wages for employees in the education sector, holds a speech anti-corruption and proposes to dissolve the Constitutional Court and the Constitution of 1993. – according to him, officials to allow irregular practices.
One of her successes also represents Keiko’s third defeat at the polls – she was previously a candidate in 2011 and 2016, losing both times in the second round. Suddenly, the politician, who was responsible for rebuilding almost from its ashes the right-wing political movement founded by his father in 1990, 15 years ago, should stand trial at the risk of ending up in prison.
Keiko is under investigation in the case of the illegal contributions of Brazilian entrepreneur Odebrecht, a scandal that has also affected four former Peruvian presidents, and has already spent 16 months in preventive detention for him.
If she reverses the outcome and wins, she will set a precedent by being the first woman in the Americas to rise to power in the footsteps of her father, whose tenure was marked by a series of allegations of human rights violations. The winner of the election will take office on July 28 and will have to take the reins of a country in crisis that has had four different leaders since 2018.