On Saturday evening, Castillo, an elementary school teacher from a poor hamlet, was leading the vote count by 50,000 votes, with only about 16,000 votes left to count.
However, this week, Fujimori has increased his focus on claims of fraud, alleging that Castillo supporters stole ballots in rural areas where she received none. There was no indication of fraud, according to international observers, and the election was free and fair.
“There’s obviously a boycott; people want to flip our ballots, disqualifying Keiko’s ballots,” said Ronald Vertis, a pro-Fujimori demonstrator in Lima.
Fujimori, the daughter of ex-President Alberto Fujimori, who is serving a jail sentence for human rights violations and corruption, is dealing with her own legal issues.
Prosecutors tried to re-indict her this week on money laundering charges, seeking a sentence of 30 years in prison. If Fujimori wins the election, the criminal case against her will be put on hold until the end of her presidency.
Even if Fujimori were to cancel some votes, the amount of ballots remaining in play makes it doubtful that she would be able to change the outcome.
On Friday night, Castillo tweeted, “We call on the (electoral jury) to guarantee and support a clean and just electoral process.” “The Peruvians have earned it.”
Fujimori first claimed fraud on Monday, when preliminary results from Sunday’s runoff election revealed she was set to lose by a razor-thin margin.
The prospect of a Castillo administration has worried investors, owing to his party’s Marxist-Leninist leanings.
He has recently embraced a moderate-left agenda, but it is uncertain whether his administration would maintain that tone or revert to the party’s far-left beginnings.