Pedro Castillo, a socialist candidate in Peru, won the presidential election on Tuesday after holding to a small lead as the protracted vote count completed, despite his right-wing opponent vowing to contest the result and refusing to surrender.
Castillo finished 44,058 votes ahead of Keiko Fujimori, who has made false accusations of fraud and attempted to have some votes nullified. Electoral officials have yet to formally publish the results of the June 6 election, but Castillo congratulated himself on his victory on Twitter.
“A new era has begun,” Castillo wrote beside a photo of himself raising his arms, the phrase “President” in huge print, and his campaign slogan, “No more poverty in a rich country.”
He also added “President-elect of the Republic of Peru (2021-2026)” to his Twitter profile.
The 51-year-old former teacher’s meteoric rise has alarmed Peru’s political and corporate elites, and it might have a huge influence on the country’s key mining industry, with Castillo seeking steep tax hikes on the sector.
“We’re not going to stand by and watch an oppressed people be discriminated against for another year,” Castillo stated. “Things have been democratically put on the table, and there must be a democratic way out.”
According to election monitors, the authorities’ deliberation of the legal objections and declaration of a winner might take days or perhaps weeks.
Peruvians who voted for Castillo have expressed their dissatisfaction.
While selling a breakfast snack of fried sweet potato and yuca on a popular Lima crossroads where mini buses pick up passengers, Ricarte Vasquez, 32, originally from northern Cajamarca, called the standoff “shameful.”
“We desire this change for Peru,” she stated as she stood in front of a monument of the Virgin Mary in a Lima park with the elderly person she was caring for.
“I’m asking Senora Keiko Fujimori to accept defeat now that the people have spoken.”
Quispe stated that she had studied to become a nurse but had to drop out due to a lack of funds.
Castillo, a socialist, has energized rural and poorer voters who feel left out of the country’s economic progress. His rise might herald a leftward shift in Brazil, Chile, and Colombia, where new leaders will be elected this year and next.