Castillo Named President-Elect in Peru, Fujimori Concedes


Rural teacher-turned-politician Pedro Castillo has been named Peru’s president-elect, six weeks after a polarizing vote in which his right-wing rival, Keiko Fujimori, alleged electoral fraud.

The official count—released on Monday and more than a month after the runoff election took place—showed Castillo, whose supporters included Peru’s poor and rural citizens, defeated Fujimori by just 44,000 votes. She now faces trial on charges of corruption.

Hundreds of supporters who had spent weeks outside the Jurado Nacional de Elecciones (JNE) headquarters to support Castillo broke out in celebration at the news. He will be sworn into office on July 28.

Castillo campaigned for office promising to improve the lives of Peruvians contending with a recession worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. The country has been crushed by the coronavirus, with about a third of people now living in poverty and the disease exposing the inadequacies of Peru’s public health system. Peru’s per capita death rate from COVID-19 is the highest in the world.

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