Peru has finally confirmed the election victory of socialist Pedro Castillo as the country’s president after a month-long battle since the June 6 run-off elections.
This comes officially after right-wing candidate Keiko Fujimori conceded defeat and accepted the result but still insisted the votes were rigged.
The official result had been delayed by appeals from Fujimori aimed at annulling some ballots over fraud accusations. She said she was nonetheless bound by law to recognize the ruling of the National Jury of Elections.
The count released on Monday showed Castillo, whose supporters included Peru’s poor and rural citizens, defeated Fujimori by just 44,000 votes.
“I proclaim Pedro Castillo as president of the republic and Dina Boluarte as first vice president,” elections chief Jorge Salas said during a televised ceremony on Monday night.
Castillo, who was before the election a school teacher and could be considered ‘poor being a son of a peasant, came to the limelight on the promise of redrafting the constitution and hike taxes on mining firms.
Peru is the world’s second-largest copper-producing nation.
Reacting to the announcement as hundreds of supporters gathered at the headquarters of his Peru Libre (Free Peru) party in Lima, the president-elect thanked “the electoral authorities” and also saluted political parties that have taken part in this democratic celebration.”
The Organization of American States, the European Union and Britain have all accepted the election as fair and welcomed the development.
The U.S. Embassy in Lima sent a tweet, welcoming the announcement.
“We value our close ties with Peru and hope to strengthen them with President-elect Pedro Castillo after his inauguration on July 28,” the tweet said.