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Peru’s socialist party chief cites ‘victory’ as vote count nears

The nation’s electoral authority has not confirmed the win, however Pedro Castillo holds a tiny margin over Keiko Fujimori.

The chief of the socialist party that seems poised to win Peru’s presidential election claimed “victory” on Friday with its candidate Pedro Castillo holding a razor-thin margin over right-wing Keiko Fujimori.

With greater than 99.5 % of votes tallied and solely a handful of contested ballots to be added, Castillo had 50.2 % of the vote, about 60,000 votes forward of Fujimori who has pushed allegations of fraud, although with little proof.

The nation’s electoral authority has but to verify the win, however most observers and a few regional left-wing leaders together with these from Argentina and Bolivia have proclaimed Castillo as the victor.

Pedro Castillo addressing supporters from the headquarters of the Free Peru party, in Lima, Peru [Angela Ponce/Reuters]

“Several presidents in the world are congratulating the victory of Pedro Castillo, in other words, he has solid international legitimacy,” wrote Vladimir Cerron, the chief of the Free Peru party, on Twitter.

Cerron, a Cuba-trained surgeon and Marxist-Leninist, is a former regional governor who couldn’t run for president himself as he has been sentenced on corruption grounds previously.

Translation: Several presidents on the earth are congratulating the victory of Pedro Castillo, in different phrases, he has strong worldwide legitimacy.

Fujimori has but to concede the election with fewer than 100,000 votes remaining and her supporters have known as for protests towards the end result.

Daughter of jailed former President Alberto Fujimori, she has doubled down on unsubstantiated allegations of fraud, and members of her party have stated they won’t concede till all votes and appeals are counted, which might nonetheless take days.

But with the passing of each hour, Fujimori’s problem appeared much less prone to succeed, analysts stated.

Peru’s electoral system is taken into account probably the most strong in Latin America, having been examined in a string of current elections, together with the 2016 vote, when Pedro Pablo Kuczynski defeated Fujimori by a fair smaller margin of votes.

Castillo himself has additionally stopped in need of proclaiming himself the winner, though he did say earlier this week that the party had assured him he could be the winner.

The election has bitterly divided Peruvians, with higher-income residents supporting Fujimori whereas low-income ones supported Castillo.

Peru’s presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori was launched final yr after spending greater than a yr in jail as a part of a probe into tens of millions of {dollars} in unlawful marketing campaign contributions she allegedly obtained [Angela Ponce/Reuters]

Castillo, an elementary college trainer and the son of impoverished peasant farmers, has galvanised rural help in Peru. He was not a member of the Free Peru party earlier than his presidency run. It remains to be unclear whether or not he would undertake a far-leftist stance for the economic system if in energy. In current days, he has recruited Pedro Francke, a reasonable left economist as his adviser, who has appeared to foster a extra market-friendly tone.

Amid the uncertainty, a Peruvian prosecutor investigating Fujimori for alleged cash laundering requested on Thursday that she be jailed once more for failing to abide by the phrases of her parole granted greater than a yr in the past.

Fujimori was launched final yr after spending greater than a yr in jail as a part of a probe into tens of millions of {dollars} in unlawful marketing campaign contributions she allegedly obtained from the Brazilian building firm Odebrecht.

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