For her part, the right-wing Keiko Fujimori insists on denouncing “fraud”. Castillo leads his rival by 49,000 votes (50.14% versus Fujimori’s 49.86%), after scrutinizing 99.93% of the voting tables of last Sunday’s ballot, which the Organization’s Electoral Observation Mission of American States (OAS) considered clean and without “serious irregularities.”
Peru, which had three presidents in 2020, suffers from uncertainty, while Fujimori mobilizes his followers to the streets to denounce “fraud” and “very serious facts” in the voting and the scrutiny.
Castillo, meanwhile, feels like a winner and asked his people on Saturday night for “patience” and “serenity.” He also urged “not to fall into provocation, since we are at a critical moment.” Castillo’s followers have already begun to congratulate him.
“There is a lot at stake: who is the winner at a time when the distance is very short and we do not know for sure the volume of votes answered […], and the legitimacy of the electoral process is at stake, ”analyst Sonia Goldenberg told the AFP agency.
“There is a feeling on both sides that the National Elections Jury (JNE) is unreliable, which is serious in a situation like this, and we do not know whether the two candidates will accept the result,” he added.
The JNE, which reviews the electoral body’s (ONPE) scrutiny and proclaims the winner, is under pressure from supporters of both candidates, who demonstrate daily outside its headquarters in downtown Lima.
This Sunday, when there was a kind of pause in the electoral disputes, the JNE published the distribution of the 130 seats in Congress that will accompany the future president, elected in parallel to the first presidential round, on April 11.
The largest benches will be from the Peru Libre de Castillo party (37 seats) and Fuerza Popular de Fujimori (24), which means that the new president will have to seek alliances for his projects (66 votes to pass a law) or to save himself from impeachment. , a very fast procedure in Peru for which 87 votes are needed.
The new president and the new Congress must take office on July 28, the day that Peru commemorates the bicentennial of independence.
Will it reach you?
The JNE has yet to resolve the requests to challenge thousands of votes and hundreds of polling station records, especially by Fujimori, the last hope it has to reverse the results.
“Keiko may still be closing the gap, but it is very difficult for him to catch up with him. The result may turn around, it is not impossible, but it is becoming more and more difficult, “political scientist and academic Jessica Smith told AFP.
“In the event that Keiko reversed the result, those who are going to accuse fraud are the supporters of Castillo,” he said.
Analyst Hugo Otero says that Fujimori, faced with what appears to be an imminent victory for Castillo, is trying to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the electoral process.
“It is the way to get rid of failure, of the fall,” the former adviser to the late former president Alan García told AFP.
Fujimori calls for transparency in Peruvian elections
On Saturday night, Fujimori participated in a rally with thousands of followers in the Plaza Grau in Lima, where he repeated his allegations of fraud.
“We are here to respect our vote, for the minutes to be analyzed, we want a transparent election,” said the 46-year-old candidate, who must go to trial for alleged money laundering if she loses the ballot.
An anti-corruption prosecutor requested preventive detention for her on Thursday, for allegedly violating the rules of her probation in the case of illegal contributions from the Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.
The prosecutor’s request raised the tension amid slow scrutiny, in a country mired in political upheaval for a five-year period, and will be resolved by a judge on June 21.
All the tension generated after the ballot is added to the damage caused by the pandemic, which leaves 188,000 deaths in the country with the highest death rate from COVID-19 in the world.
Fujimori told foreign correspondents on Saturday that the “international left is intervening” in Peru, alluding to the greetings of Latin American leaders to Castillo for his “victory,” including Argentine President Alberto Fernández, Bolivian Luis Arce and Nicaraguan Vice President Rosario Murillo.
The congratulations provoked protest notes from the Peruvian government to the ambassadors of those countries, the foreign ministry said.