Rival protests in Peru as tensions rise over presidential vote

Pedro Castillo’s supporters need election outcomes upheld, whereas Keiko Fujimori’s backers need the vote annulled.

Supporters of socialist Pedro Castillo and conservative Keiko Fujimori took to the streets by the hundreds in Peru on Saturday, as tensions rose over the results of a June 6 presidential election.

Castillo, who acquired 50.125 p.c of the vote with a distinction of 44,058 ballots, has declared himself the winner.

Fujimori bought 49.875 p.c of the votes and has made claims of large-scale election fraud.

In Peru’s capital, Lima, supporters of Castillo gathered on the “2 de Mayo” sq., calling for the left-wing candidate to be formally introduced as president-elect.

Fujimori’s supporters additionally held a rival demonstration in a unique a part of town demanding the annulment of the run-off election.

The National Elections Jury says it’s nonetheless reviewing votes and is but to declare a winner.

“We are not going to allow them to ignore the popular will, to ignore the electoral result. We are going to defend democracy,” stated Veronika Mendoza, a former leftist presidential candidate who attended the rally for Castillo.

Supporters of Peru’s presidential candidate Pedro Castillo collect in Plaza San Martin in Lima, Peru June 19, 2021 [Sebastian Castaneda/ Reuters]

“Unfortunately, Mrs. “K” [Keiko Fujimori] is a corrupt lady who shouldn’t be president and will settle for her defeat as a result of what gained right here is the democracy, the honest vote of the individuals,” stated Ruben, one other pro-Castillo demonstrator.

International observers have stated there isn’t any proof of fraud and that the election was clear.

Pollster Ipsos Peru additionally stated it had executed a statistical evaluation of the ballots and located no proof of irregular voting patterns that will have benefited one candidate over the opposite.

But Fujimori, daughter of jailed ex-president Alberto Fujimori, confirmed no indicators of relenting.

“We are not going to accept our votes being stolen,” she instructed her supporters in Lima.

Peru’s presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori gestures to supporters in Lima, Peru June 19, 2021 [Gerardo Marin/ Reuters]

“We’ll give our lives for the country; it’s not about Keiko, it’s about Peru, no to terrorism, no to communism,” stated Nancy Falla, who attended the pro-Fujimori rally.

The tense vote depend is the end result of a bitterly divisive election in Peru, the place many low-income residents supported Castillo whereas largely wealthier ones voted for Fujimori.

The opposing candidates have pledged vastly completely different treatments for rescuing Peru from the financial doldrums introduced on by the COVID-19 disaster.

The Andean nation has the worst coronavirus loss of life fee on the earth, recording greater than 187,000 deaths amongst its 33 million inhabitants.

Two million Peruvians have additionally misplaced their jobs throughout the pandemic and nearly a 3rd of the nation now lives in poverty, in response to official figures.

Fujimori, 46, has pledged to comply with the free-market mannequin and keep financial stability, whereas Castillo, 51, has promised to redraft the nation’s structure to strengthen the function of the state, take a bigger portion of earnings from mining companies and nationalise key industries – Peru is the world’s second-biggest producer of copper.

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