Leftwing candidate Pedro Castillo of the Peru Libre party was leading conservative Keiko Fujimori of Fuerza Popular by 50.253% against 49.747% with 99.282% of the votes counted, according to the National Office of Electoral Processes (ONPE) by Wednesday dawn. However, Castillo already addressed his supporters from the balcony of his party's headquarters in Lima and declared himself the winner, ahead of the official count.
The people have spoken, said the rural teacher in Lima, who leads Keiko by some 80,000 votes in a country of 20 million voters. He totalled 8,719,076 votes against Fujimori's 8,631,303, a narrow gap that seems nonetheless unsurmountable.
Of a total of 17,350,379 valid votes, 119,795 were blank (for neither candidate), while 1,054,127 were null (showed an irregularity whereby the voter's intention cannot be determined) for a total of 18,524,301 votes cast.
The ONPE issued its first official results report on Sunday night at 42.030% of the tally sheets, placing Keiko Fujimori with 52.905% of the national vote and Pedro Castillo with 47.095%, information that was updated every half hour.
As Castillo surged to the lead, Fujimori cried foul and said, without proofs, there were irregularities in Sunday's elections. Groups of right-wing supporters marched in support of the daughter of former President Alberto Fujimori who is serving a prison sentence for human rights violations.
Castillo is expected to be declared the winner anytime this Wednesday morning. But Fujimori might judicially challenge the outcome.
“There are signs of fraud that are unacceptable to us. There is a clear intention to boycott the popular will,” said Fujimori, who showed voting records of a rural polling station where Castillo obtained 187 votes and she got zero.
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