‘Peru wants president’: thousands march through Lima as election results drag
LIMA, July 6 (Reuters) – Thousands of Peruvians took to the streets on Tuesday to protest the uncertainty surrounding the presidential election outcome a month ago, as confirmation from leftist Pedro Castillo is delayed by politicians. electoral challenges from his conservative rival.
Castillo supporters, carrying colorful Andean Wiphala flags and banners with photos of the former socialist teacher, marched to Congress to demand that his narrow lead of some 44,000 votes be maintained.
Across town, right-wing Keiko Fujimori supporters rallied to support his allegations of electoral fraud and his attempts to overturn some polls, a push with which his party held on even as the Election observers say the vote went smoothly.
“Peru wants a president and here we have Professor Pedro Castillo elected,” Santos Saavedra, leader of a rural defense group known as Rondas Campesinas, said during a march. âWe will defend this popular will.
Castillo, 51, the son of peasants, topped the runoff on June 6, shaking Peru’s political and business establishment with promises to overturn the copper-rich Andean country’s constitution and raise taxes on mining.
Election officials are scrutinizing the ballots after protests from Fujimori, who alleged fraud with little evidence. They must complete the process before confirming the outcome, with the new president due to take office on July 28.
“The game is not over and there is still no winner. We are waiting for this result,” said Fujimori in another part of Lima, the capital, surrounded by his supporters.
Fujimori’s pressure to reverse the outcome, however, lost some momentum, with the allies appearing to be gaining support for the delay. The interim government rejected its request for an international audit of the vote. Read more
Report by Marco Aquino; Editing by Adam Jourdan and Leslie Adler
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