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Pedro Castillo celebrates with Dina Boluarte from the balcony of his campaign headquarters in Lima, after being declared president of Peru by the electoral authorities. Monday, July 19, 2021. AP Photo by Guadalupe Prado.
Pedro Castillo celebrates with Dina Boluarte from the balcony of his campaign headquarters in Lima, after being declared president of Peru by the electoral authorities on Monday, July 19, 2021. Photo: Guadalupe Prado/AP.

One week before the change of office, Pedro Castillo proclaimed president of Peru

Six weeks after the second round of elections in Peru and one week before the change of leadership celebrating 200 years of independence, Pedro Castillo is…

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On Monday, July 19 at 7 p.m., Peru time, the  National Jury of Elections (JNE) finally proclaimed Pedro Castillo as the country's president. After a month and a half of uncertainty amid accusations of fraud and challenges by candidate Keiko Fujimori and her party with the intention of reversing the results of the second round of the presidential elections, the candidate for Fuerza Popular accepted her third defeat in the electoral contest.

In a virtual session, the JNE finally made the proclamation in favor of Castillo, a few days before the presidential change on July 28, 200 years after its independence. During the session, the official Dina Boluarte was also proclaimed vice-president.

After the virtual session in which Castillo was proclaimed president of Peru, the leftist leader addressed the nation from Lima, between emotion and joy to thank Peruvians for believing in him. In his message, he also called on the Afro-Peruvian, Andean and Amazonian peoples to work together for the construction of a new country.

After the JNE declared all legal appeals presented by Fujimori unfounded, Castillo was declared president with 50.12% of the valid votes, only 44,263 votes ahead of Fujimori. The interim president, Francisco Sagasti, will hand over state power to Pedro Castillo, a rural teacher from the northern Andes, who surprised in the first round by placing first.

Castillo said Monday that he is calling for "the broadest unity of the Peruvian people" in the new period celebrated on the Bicentennial of Independence, as they work for a "more just, more sovereign, more dignified and more humane" country. The president also made a call to the leader of Fuerza Popular to move forward and not let Peru sink.

"I call on Mrs. Keiko Fujimori not to put more obstacles and to move the country forward," she said.

The right-wing leader accepted her third defeat, acknowledging the results of the second round of the general elections "because it is what the law and the Constitution that I have sworn to defend," she said on the night of July 20. 

In spite of international organizations have corroborating the regular and democratic nature of the first and second round elections, according to Fujimori, Castillo's official proclamation is "illegitimate" because "they have discovered something that is already unobjectionable: Peru Libre has stolen thousands of votes from us on election day."

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