In divided Peru, Castillo says he wants to form a pluralist government

In divided Peru, Castillo says he wants to form a pluralist government

Peru’s President-elect Pedro Castillo has said he will seek to form a pluralist government, in his opening remarks to reporters after confirmation of his electoral victory in the deeply divided South American nation.
The left-wing teachers’ union leader said on Tuesday he planned to form a “work team” made up of people from different political persuasions.

Peru’s electoral jury confirmed Castillo’s narrow victory over right-wing rival Keiko Fujimori on Monday, more than six weeks after a presidential run-off that further polarized the country, which has been hit hard by COVID-19 and has seen hard times. years of political instability.

“We appeal to all the experts and technicians, the most distinguished and committed people in the country,” said Castillo, which will be inaugurated next week.

“We are structuring a work team and I see that there are also people who are interested in contributing to support this government, from all political backgrounds.”

The run-off results were delayed because Fujimori alleged – without any evidence – that the vote was plagued by widespread electoral fraud. His legal team had sought to disqualify thousands of votes.

But international observers, including the Organization of American States (OAS), said they found no evidence of serious irregularities.

Fujimori – the daughter of ex-president Alberto Fujimori, jailed for human rights violations – said she would accept the result, but repeated her claim that Castillo stole votes to win and called on his supporters to stand up. mobilize to “defend democracy”.

Castillo said he wanted to increase spending on health and education by raising funds through increased mining taxes. His plans resonated in a country with the highest per capita death toll from COVID-19 and wide gaps between rural and urban wealth.

But experts said many of its policies – and its plan to implement them – remain unclear.

“Even after being elected, Castillo remains a stranger,” Gonzalo Banda, a political scientist at the Peruvian Catholic University of Santa Marta, told Al Jazeera ahead of the official results on Monday.

Castillo is expected to face other hurdles, particularly in Peru’s unicameral parliament, where his party will have 37 out of 130 lawmakers while Fujimori’s Popular Force party will have 24 seats, the second largest bloc.

Peru has seen major protests in recent weeks from supporters of Castillo and Fujimori. Castillo’s supporters had urged election officials to respect the will of the Peruvian people, while Fujimori wanted an investigation into the fraud allegations of their favorite candidate.

“I ask for calm and serenity from the Peruvian people. It is not only the responsibility of the government, but also that of all Peruvians, ”Castillo said.

He is due to announce his cabinet and his appointments to key ministries soon.


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