Peru’s Pedro Castillo has thanked Presidents Luis Arce, Alberto Fernández, and Daniel Ortega, during an address to his supporters this evening in Lima. The three heads of state publicly recognized Castillo as President-elect of Peru on Thursday.
From the balcony of his campaign office in Lima, Castillo expressed gratitude to a crowd of cheering supporters:
“I want to thank the messages from organizations of other countries, from teachers of other countries in Latin America, of popular organizations of neighboring countries, the President of Bolivia, the President of Argentina, the President of Nicaragua, thank you, with all the fervor of Latin America, on behalf of all of you (supporters). I want to thank the political leaders who have taken the time to come and say how great it is that the Peruvian people have woken up, to say that the people have a right to make their own development.”
President Luis Arce congratulated Castillo on social media, saying, “Bolivia joins the celebration of the Peruvian people and congratulates our brother Pedro Castillo, President-elect of Peru, a country with which we share history and culture. The Patria Grande joins forces to continue the fight for a tomorrow with justice and equality for the people.”
President Alberto Fernandez, tweeted, “Today I contacted Pedro Castillo, President-elect of Peru. I expressed my wish that we join forces in favor of Latin America. We are deeply entwined nations. I celebrate that the dear Peruvian people face a future with democracy and institutional solidity.”
President Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo phoned Castillo to send greetings and congratulations on “this immense popular victory led by comrade Pedro” and released a press statement.
Congratulatory statements and well wishes were also sent in light of the electoral feat from Senators of Mexico’s MORENA party, Brazil’s Workers’ Party and Bolivia’s MAS legislators as well as from the Sao Paulo Forum and numerous social movements.
Keiko Fujimori Seeks Nullification of 200,000 Votes
The losing candidate in Sunday’s presidential election in Peru, Keiko Fujimori, has begun the process to appeal for the nullification of 802 voting stations, which her campaign says is equivalent to 200,000 votes.
In particular, Fujimori’s team will go after the votes obtained by her rival in the center and south of the country and in areas where teacher Pedro Castillo obtained a high number of votes. This will include efforts to invalidate votes in Cajamarca, Ancash, Ayacucho, Huancavelica, Arequipa, Cusco, Moquegua, Puno and Tacna. If successful, hundreds of thousands of Peruvians will be stripped of their right to elect their President, allowing Fujimori to reverse the numbers in order to steal the election.
The procedure, through which Fujimori’s Fuerza Popular party is attempting to manipulate the election outcome, involves a large team of highly experienced attorneys and the payment of 1,100 soles for each voting station, for a total cost of 882,200 soles. The candidate stated that, “500,000 votes are still at stake” when factoring all observed tally sheets, adding that, “Half a million votes at national level that we believe it is essential to analyze for the final recount.”
Fujimori first made unsubstantiated allegations of ‘systematic fraud’ on Monday evening once it became clear that Castillo’s lead would be irreversible, with her defeat inevitable.
Only 19 requests to nullify voting tables were filed in the second round of the 2016 elections, in a vote where Fujimori was similarly defeated by a small margin and where she also alleged fraud.
With over 99% of actas counted, Peru Libre’s Castillo, is the clear winner by a margin of 71,500 votes (Castillo with 50.2% and Fujimori with 49.8%) and awaits the declaration of electoral authorities at the completion of the official vote count.
Despite her current attempts to undermine the democratic process, Fujimori says that she will accept the conclusion reached by the National Jury of Elections (JNE) and the National Official of Electoral Processes (ONPE).
Castillo reiterated the call for calm to his supporters, this time, from his official social media pages:
“Dear brothers and sisters: I thank those who continue to resist in the streets. Let us not fall into provocations of those who want to see this country in chaos. Therefore, we call for peace, tranquility and unity. Let us remain firm and joyful in this final struggle that belongs to all Peruvians.”