Peruvian socialist Castillo confirmed president after long battle over results
LIMA, July 19 (Reuters) – Peru’s electoral authority on Monday appointed socialist Pedro Castillo as the country’s next president, after officially winning the June 6 run-off against right-wing candidate Keiko Fujimori, who accepted the result but said she had been deceived.
The official result had been delayed by Fujimori’s calls to overturn some polls over accusations of fraud. She said she was nonetheless required by law to recognize the decision of the national election jury.
“I proclaim Pedro Castillo president of the Republic and Dina Boluarte first vice-president”, declared Monday evening the chief of the elections, Jorge Salas, during a televised ceremony.
Earlier today, Fujimori said she would recognize the official result “because that is what the law and the constitution that I have sworn to uphold, 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 press conference. She called on her supporters to protest.
“We have the right to mobilize (…) but in a peaceful manner and within the framework of the law”, she declared.
The Organization of American States, the European Union and Britain all said the election was clean. The U.S. Embassy in Lima sent a tweet welcoming the announcement. “We appreciate our close ties with Peru and look forward to strengthening them with President-elect Pedro Castillo after his inauguration on July 28,” the tweet said.
Castillo, in his first comments as president-elect, called for national unity. “I ask for efforts and sacrifices in the struggle to make this country a just and sovereign country,” he said.
A 51-year-old former schoolteacher and son of peasants, Castillo pledged to overhaul the constitution and raise taxes on mining companies. Peru is the second largest copper producer in the world
But he has softened his rhetoric in recent weeks and hinted at a more moderate, market-friendly approach.
Castillo said on Monday he would work for economic stability.
“I ask Keiko Fujimori not to put up barriers, so that we can move forward and make it a government of all Peruvians,” he said.
Report by Marco Aquino; Written by Hugh Bronstein and Adam Jourdan; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and Peter Cooney
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