Supporters of alleged president-elect Pedro Castillo and right-wing Keiko Fujimori take to the streets of Lima.
Challenges are expected to be received in Peru’s hotly contested presidential election after a new judge on Saturday invested the court that oversaw the disputes as supporters of rival candidates. Pedro Castell and Keiko Fujimori took to the streets of Lima in protest.
Left-wing professor and union leader Castillo declared victory after gaining 50.12 percent support in the second round on June 6, about 44,000 votes more than right-wing Fujimori, according to the full vote count .
But the daughter of former President Alberto Fujimori did alleged electoral fraud – although international observers said the election took place without serious irregularities – and his camp has asked the National Election Jury (JNE) to review thousands of votes.
The country’s electoral process was plunged into additional uncertainty this week after one of the four judges on the jury examining the disputed ballots left after clashing with other officials over requests for the annulment of votes.
On Saturday, the jury swore in a substitute to allow the process to restart. “Electoral justice cannot be paralyzed or blocked, let alone at this stage of the process,” said JNE President Jorge Salas.
The polarized presidential election took place amid deep political divisions in Peru, which is struggling to cope with growing infections and deaths from COVID-19, as well as a pandemic-related economic recession.
Al Jazeera’s Mariana Sanchez, an informant from Lima, said supporters of Keiko Fujimori and Pedro Castillo protested in the capital on Saturday evening.
“The situation is very tense … 20 days have passed [since the election] and there are no official results yet, “he said, adding that police are trying to keep rival groups separate.
Castillo’s sponsors have been urging election authorities to certify the results, while Fujimori supporters have echoed the right-wing candidate’s claims that the vote was marred by fraud and want a thorough investigation, he said. inform Sanchez.
But he said the Fujimori camp has not provided evidence to support the allegations of fraud.
“All the international observers who have been here – from the Organization of American States, Transparency International, the European Union, the United States Department of State, Canada – have said that the elections have been free and fair.” said Sanchez.
How tensions continue to rise, an audio recording of a jailed former intelligence adviser who collaborated extensively with former President Alberto Fujimori, who sought to influence the vote in favor of Keiko Fujimori, was leaked. The Navy has said it will investigate phone calls from its prison at a naval base.
“We are outraged that a prisoner is appearing on the scene at such a critical time in our democratic life,” Prime Minister Violeta Bermudez told reporters on Saturday.
The new president of Peru must be sworn in on July 28, the country’s independence day.