Wednesday, August 4

Election results: Castillo vindicates himself as legitimate president in the face of calls to boycott his inauguration | International

The presidential candidate Pedro Castillo arrives at the Casa del Maestro this Tuesday, in Lima.
The presidential candidate Pedro Castillo arrives at the Casa del Maestro this Tuesday, in Lima.Paolo Aguilar / EFE

The rural teacher Pedro Castillo vindicated himself this Tuesday as the next legitimate president of Peru. The left-wing candidate who was the winner at the polls against Keiko Fujimori by a very narrow margin of votes (44,185) wanted to neutralize the calls of a sector of Fujimori and the country’s elites to prevent his inauguration at any cost. Fujimori’s party has called for the cancellation of 200,000 votes from the Amazon and the Andes, historically forgotten and excluded areas. Castillo swept there with a speech antiestablishment. “We are not going to allow discrimination to continue. The people have chosen and that must be respected ”, he said.

The candidate summoned the international press at his party’s headquarters in Lima. At the agreed time, Dina Boluarte appeared, who will be his vice president, and three experts in electoral processes who advise her. “The candidate cannot come. He has bought him time in a meeting ”, Boluarte excused himself. Castillo, however, arrived after an hour and a quarter, apologized and grabbed the microphone. His intervention was brief, but forceful: “There are voices that even come from personalities with a whole political experience, from wanting to go beyond wanting to prosecute the popular will of the Peruvian people.”

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Castillo is referring to Congressman Jorge Montoya, from the right-wing Popular Renovation party, who campaigned for Fujimori in the second round, calling for these elections to be annulled and others to be called. Another retired politician urged the removal of the acting president, Francisco Sagasti, to annul the result and call another electoral process. The presenter of a television program called on citizens to take over the Government Palace, which recalled the taking of the Capitol by Trump supporters who, like the Fujimori, seem convinced of the fraud in the elections despite the evidence that it was not so. Five people died in the raid in Washington.

Castillo's team's press conference, before it appeared this Tuesday in Lima.
Castillo’s team’s press conference, before it appeared this Tuesday in Lima.SEBASTIAN CASTANEDA / Reuters

Fujimorism wants to make an amendment to the whole. The lawyer of Fuerza Popular, Milagros Takayama, has requested an audit of the computerized process of digitization of electoral records. In addition, a couple of lawyers have presented a criminal complaint to the Public Ministry of “violation of the right to vote.” However, they support the complaint in cases broadcast by a cable channel that usually broadcasts unverified news. In recent days, the electoral bodies had already described as false those alleged irregularities that the lawyers picked up from the television. In the last two weeks the electoral tribunal and the entity that carries out the official scrutiny have had to create a unit of fact-checking to deny these versions that the defenders of Fujimori disseminate in the allied press and on social networks.

At the same time, those who encourage the campaign to ignore the results continue to carry out harassment sit-ins outside the houses of the electoral authorities and opinion leaders who ask to respect the results that declare Castillo the winner. Some of the protesters taking part in the marches claiming “fraud,” as Fujimori puts it, use symbols of neo-fascism such as the torches of American white supremacists and the Nazi salute when singing the anthem. A statement signed by 63 retired senior military commanders -among them elected congressmen from Fujimori and allied right-wing formations- called for the departure of the president of the electoral tribunal, called for vigilance against candidate Castillo, and asked to “strengthen confidence in the armed forces and police ”. The Defense Ministry clarified that the pronouncement illegally used the emblems of the armed institutions and lamented the political use of those institutions.

Castillo’s victory has sparked fear among the Lima elite. The rural professor and trade unionist, until a few months ago little known, especially in the capital of the country, said in a campaign that he would review the contracts with foreign companies and that he would call a referendum to draft a new Constitution that would give the Government greater power over the economy of the country. Unlike other presidents with whom those businessmen had a direct line, Castillo does not get on the phone or know those circles of power. He is a politician from the margins, who the day after his victory in the first round got up early to milk a cow and work in his garden.

To counterbalance, Castillo has appointed Pedro Francke, a left-wing economist who is an expert in public policy. In Lima he is a respected professional. Since the victory of the rural professor was known, he has met with businessmen who are uneasy about the image that has reached them about the candidate. It has not been made public yet, but everything indicates that he will be the next Minister of Economy. “There will be no expropriations, there will be no statutes,” Francke said at the same press conference. “No confiscations or anything. All those lies were told during the campaign, distorting the proposal ”.

The dollar rose last week to 3.94 soles, the highest point in history, but it has fallen to 3.90 and there it has stabilized. Aníbal Torres, one of the jurists who commands the legal team that faces the battle of appeals and appeals of Fujimori to the victory of Castillo, was very direct when it came to assessing the moment that we live in Peru: “They are plotting a coup of Condition”.

The National Elections Jury now has to resolve Fujimori’s appeals. Never before has such a high number been presented. So far all the cases that have been studied have been dismissed. They will go to a second instance. Once this is resolved, he will have to proclaim a winner, which everything points to will be Pedro Castillo. Fujimori, however, assures that it will go to the end and that it will even take the case to the judiciary. Peru, meanwhile, will remain in suspense, with a deepening social fracture. That cannot be fixed in court.

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