Peru’s socialist candidate Point Pedro Castillo is close to being named the country’s next president because he has the upper hand in the number of votes cast in the presidential election. The return of right-wing rival Keiko Fujimori is increasingly unlikely.
Castillo, an elementary school teacher raised in a poor village, received 51,000 votes this Saturday morning, leaving about 62,000 votes to be counted.
“We won, Professor Point Castillo (President),” his party, Peru Livere, tweeted Friday night.
Fujimori, the daughter of imprisoned former President Alberto Fujimori, sought to disqualify tens of thousands of votes, alleging fraud.
The tense turnout in question marks the final moment of a highly contested and polarized election in Peru.
Keiko Fujimori has called for the cancellation of 200,000 votes in Peru’s election
Peru’s election arbitrator on Saturday sought to postpone the deadline to allow Fujimori to submit demands for disqualification of 200,000 votes in poorer regions of Peru, but said it would withdraw from the plan. In the end, Fujimori managed to get about 38,000 votes.
“We demand that (the election arbitrator) guarantee a clean and fair election process,” Castillo tweeted Friday night. “The Peruvian people deserve it.”
Fujimori raised the allegations of fraud for the first time on Monday. One of his main arguments was that he did not get votes in constituencies in regions up to 300 people, which he said was a sign of fraudulent activity.
Castillo intimidated market players because his party, Free Peru, calls itself a Marxist-Leninist.
The socialist candidate recently sought to pacify the markets with a moderate left base, but it is unclear whether his government will retain that tone or return to party roots as an extreme left wing organization.