The official proclamation of Pedro Castillo as president-elect of Peru became effective on Monday night after the electoral juries have taken a month and a half to process and reject more than a thousand appeals and challenges of the right-wing Keiko Fujimori, who persists in denouncing an alleged “fraud”, although she acknowledges the result.
One week after the presidential change, the National Elections Jury (JNE) declared this Monday unfounded the last five appeals presented by Fuerza Popular, Fujimori’s party, which so far prevented the official results of the elections.
“I proclaim Mr. José Pedro Castillo Terrones president of the republic,” said the head of the JNE in a brief virtual ceremony, Jorge Luis Salas, after this autonomous four-member body had finished resolving the numerous challenges and appeals.
The new president must take office on July 28, the day the interim president’s term expires Francisco Sagasti and in which Peru commemorates the bicentennial of its independence.
The JNE validated the updated scrutiny of 100% of the records of the electoral body (ONPE), which gave the victory to Castillo with 50.12% of the votes compared to 49.87%, the narrow margin of just 44,000 votes over his rival, who announced hours before that he would recognize the results.
This little advantage was taken advantage of by the Peruvian right to emphasize the polarization of the electoral campaign and take the country to an unprecedented tension given his refusal to admit the results, including exhortations to the armed forces to disobey Castillo, which in practice would be a coup.
The daughter of the imprisoned former president Alberto Fujimori denounced an alleged “fraud” in favor of Castillo, without providing conclusive evidence, despite the fact that observers from the OAS, the United States and the European Union affirmed that the vote was clean.
During this period there have been demonstrations, especially in the capital, which have sometimes turned violent as when last weekend a group of Fujimori supporters wanted to reach the Government Palace de Lima, in the midst of the pulse of the presidential candidate with the electoral bodies.
Since the scrutiny already anticipated the day after the vote her third consecutive defeat in a presidential election, the daughter of former President Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000), who was running under an accusation of more than 30 years in prison for alleged money laundering money, he claimed “systematic fraud.”
In a strategy very similar to that used by Donald Trump in the last US presidential elections, Fujimori tried to annul some 200,000 votes from Andean areas, rural and poor where Castillo had obtained overwhelming support, mostly due to alleged false signatures that he could never prove.
Far from verifying the complaints, many cases affected by this fraud they came out publicly to deny Fujimori and to reaffirm that the signatures of the electoral records were his.
At the same time, the legitimacy of the Peruvian elections It was endorsed by organizations such as the Organization of American States (OAS) and the European Union (EU), as well as by the governments of the United States and Canada, among other countries and multilateral institutions.
Meanwhile, and despite not having the official proclamation, Castillo immediately began to consider himself the winner of the elections and to act as president-elect with meetings with different political leaders, businessmen and diplomatic delegations from countries like China, but without publicly declaring journalists.
As he did in the final phase of his electoral campaign, Castillo has been hermetic and has not granted interviews beyond a brief statement to the foreign press where there was no option for questions.
No official proclamation the official transfer could not begin either of the administration now headed by the interim president, Francisco Sagasti, focused on accelerating vaccination and guaranteeing the supply of vaccines against covid-19 until the end of the year.
This means that Castillo and his team they will barely have a week to take the reins of the State before the presidential sash is hung on the shoulder on July 28, on the same day that the country will commemorate the 200 years of its independence.
The great unknown
For now, the professor from the northern Andean region of Cajamarca has stated that will not anticipate the names of those who will be his ministers until the long-awaited appointment of the JNE arrives, after in the last hours the rumors with several names have begun.
“They are transcended and speculations. After the proclamation of the JNE we will make the corresponding official announcements for the Bicentennial government, “Castillo wrote on social networks.
Among the names that sound to integrate the Council of Ministers are the economist Pedro Francke and the doctor Hernando Cevallos for the Economy and Health portfolios, respectively, but the main unknown is the prime minister.
On Sunday the name of the former congressman came out Roger Najar, head of the government plan of Free Peru and close to the controversial Vladimir Cerrón, head of the party that declares itself Marxist and on which a conviction for corruption weighs when he was governor of the Junín region.