LIMA, July 19 (Reuters) – Peruvian electoral authority on Monday named socialist Pedro Castillo as the country’s next president, after officially winning the June 6 by-election against right-wing candidate Keiko Fujimori, who accepted the result but said she had been cheated .
The official result was delayed by appeals from Fujimori, which aimed to cancel some votes on fraud charges. She said she was nevertheless bound by law to recognize the decision of the national election jury.
“I proclaim Pedro Castillo as President of the Republic and Dina Boluarte as First Vice President,” Chief Electoral Officer Jorge Salas said during a televised ceremony Monday night.
Earlier in the day, Fujimori said she would recognize the official result “because that is what the law and the constitution, which I have sworn to defend, mandate. The truth will come out anyway.”
“They have stolen thousands of votes from us,” Fujimori, daughter of imprisoned former president Alberto Fujimori, told a news conference. She urged her supporters to protest.
“We have the right to mobilize … but in a peaceful way and within the law,” she said.
The Organization of American States, the EU and the UK have all said the election was clean. The US Embassy in Lima sent a tweet welcoming the message. “We appreciate our close ties with Peru and hope to strengthen them with President-elect Pedro Castillo following his inauguration on July 28,” the tweet said.
Castillo called in his initial comments as elected president for national unity. “I call for effort and sacrifice in the fight to make this a just and sovereign country,” he said.
A 51-year-old former schoolteacher and son of farmers, Castillo has vowed to reformulate the constitution and raise taxes on mining companies. Peru is the world’s second largest copper-producing nation
But he has softened his rhetoric in recent weeks, suggesting a more moderate, market-friendly approach.
Castillo said Monday he would work toward economic stability.
“I pray that Keiko Fujimori does not put barriers in the way so that we can move forward and make this a government for all Peruvians,” he said.
Reporting by Marco Aquino; Writing by Hugh Bronstein and Adam Jourdan; Clip by Rosalba O’Brien and Peter Cooney
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