Peruvian right-wing presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori has admitted she is headed for defeat in last month’s election, but accused socialist rival Pedro Castillo of winning in an “illegitimate” manner and pledged to mobilise her supporters.
Castillo came out of the run-off vote on 6 June ahead by a scant 44,000 votes. The official result has been delayed by appeals from Fujimori aimed at annulling some ballots over fraud accusations, despite little evidence.
Peru’s conservative presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori after her appeals to change the election results were rejected on Monday. Photograph: Sebastian Castaneda/Reuters
Fujimori said on Monday she was bound by law to recognise the official election result, expected to be announced in the days ahead.
“I am going to recognise the results because it is what the law and the constitution that I have sworn to defend, mandates. The truth is going to come out anyway,” she said.
Peru’s electoral authority said earlier on Monday it would announce the winner of the election this week after it tossed out the last appeals by Fujimori, a conservative who is the daughter of jailed former president Alberto Fujimori.
“They have stolen thousands of votes from us,” Fujimori said at a news conference. Faced with the “imminent” naming of Castillo as president-elect, Fujimori called on her followers to protest peacefully. “We have the right to mobilise … but in a peaceful manner and within the framework of the law,” she said.
The National Jury of Elections said on Twitter it had ruled inadmissible the final appeals presented last week by Fujimori.
The Organization of American States, European Union and Britain have all said the election was fair.
Castillo, once confirmed, would take office on 28 July for a five-year term as leader of the world’s second largest copper-producing nation.
A 51-year-old former school teacher and the son of peasant farmers, Castillo has pledged to redraft the constitution and raise taxes on mining firms, but has in recent weeks softened his rhetoric and hinted at a more moderate, market-friendly approach.