Pedro Castillo, a rural teacher who later became a political novice, became the winner of the Peruvian presidential election after the longest election count in the country in 40 years.
In his first comment as a presidential voter, he called for national unity. “I demand effort and sacrifice in the struggle to make this country a just and sovereign country,” he said.
Castillo’s supporters included impoverished and rural citizens of Peru, defeating the right-wing politician Keiko Fujimori by only 44,000 votes. More than a month after the second round of elections in this South American country, the election authorities announced the final official results at a televised ceremony on Monday.
On Monday night, TV screens showed Castillo supporters pouring into the streets, chanting: “Yes, we can.”
Castillo will take office on July 28 as the leader of the world’s second largest copper producer for a five-year term.
As the son of a 51-year-old former school teacher and farmer, Castillo has promised to redraft the constitution and raise taxes on mining companies, but his remarks have eased in recent weeks and hinted at a more moderate, market-oriented approach. Friendly approach.
Castillo wields a pencil the size of a cane. This is the symbol of his Peruvian Liberal Party. He popularized the phrase “rich countries are no longer poor.” Peru’s economy has been hit by the coronavirus pandemic, and poverty levels have increased to nearly one-third of the population, offsetting gains over the past decade.
The lack of public health services has led to a pandemic crisis in the country, making it the country with the highest per capita death rate in the world. Castillo promised to use the income of the mining sector to improve public services, including education and health, and the shortcomings of these services have been highlighted in the pandemic.
In mid-April, 51-year-old Castillo told the Associated Press at his home in Anguilla, Peru’s third poorest region: “Those who don’t have a car should have at least one bicycle.”
Historians say that he was the first farmer to become the president of Peru. Until now, even though Peru has boasted of being the economic star of Latin America in the first 20 years, until now, indigenous people have almost always received the worst public services. century.
“There is no case of someone who has nothing to do with professional, military or economic elites ascending to the throne,” said Cecilia Mendes, a Peruvian historian and a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Hundreds of people from different regions have camped in front of the electoral court in the capital Lima for more than a month, waiting for Castillo’s announcement. Many people do not belong to Castillo’s political party, but they trust him because “he will not be like other politicians who do not keep their promises and do not protect the poor.” Environmental activist Marugga arrived from the small town near Titicaca · Inquilla (Maruja Inquilla) said. .
Earlier, right-wing presidential candidate Fujimori admitted that she was about to lose in last month’s election, but accused Castillo of winning in an “illegal” way and promised to mobilize her supporters.
Fujimori said on Monday that she is legally bound to recognize the official election results. “I will admit the result because it is stipulated by the law and the constitution that I vowed to defend. In any case, the truth will eventually surface,” she said.
As Fujimori’s appeal was aimed at canceling some votes, the official result was postponed. Fraud allegations, Although the evidence is scarce. The Peruvian election authorities rejected the last appeal of Fujimori, the daughter of the imprisoned former President Alberto Fujimori.
“They stole thousands of votes from us,” Fujimori claimed at a press conference. The Organization of American States, the European Union and the United Kingdom all stated that the election was fair. The United States called this election a “democratic model” in the region.
Faced with Castillo’s upcoming naming as a presidential voter, Fujishima called on her followers to protest peacefully. “We have the right to mobilize… but in a peaceful way and within the legal framework,” she said.
With the Associated Press and Reuters