First modification: 07/25/2021 – 00:46
On Friday, the National Electoral Jury of Peru (JNE) gave the credentials as Constitutional President for the period 2021-2026 to Pedro Castillo. The ceremony takes place one month and three weeks after the second round of the country’s elections that took place on June 6. The new president of Peru will face a country with great political divisions.
In a private ceremony organized by the National Electoral Jury of Peru, Pedro Castillo obtained his credentials as president. On July 28, he will assume his functions.
At the event, Castillo addressed all citizens saying that: “For me this is an honor, which I swear not to disappoint.” He also added: “I am going to leave the sweat working and fighting for this town so that we all have the same opportunities, so that we all have to aim for the new generations, the new children, to have the same hopes first.”
In his speech, the new president of Peru called for the unity of society and the different political sectors to be able to devise a “true Peruvian model thinking about its diversity, about its culture.” Likewise, he asked for the respect of the institutionality and thanked the Peruvian citizens for their trust.
During the election campaign, Castillo had faced criticism that made him resemble leftist leaders from other parts of the Latin American region. For that reason, he was emphatic in his pronouncement, trying to get away from those remarks. “We are not Chavistas, we are not communists, we are not extremists, less communists,” he said.
At the ceremony, the president of the JNE defended the legality and transparency of the electoral process, which had been questioned by sectors of the extreme right. The candidate Keiko Fujimori affirmed multiple times that there was fraud in the elections and made use of multiple legal resources to question the proclamation of a winner.
The President of the #JNEJorge Luis Salas Arenas, absolutely rejected that the electoral system had conspired to defraud or has tolerated fraud. “The expert observation of impartial international entities has certified that there was none,” he said. pic.twitter.com/rjg740dhLv
– JNE Peru (@JNE_Peru) July 24, 2021
Salas also addressed Pedro Castillo and the new Vice President Dina Boluarte. “Mr. President-elect, Madam Vice President-elect, you have an enormous task to fulfill and several commitments for democracy to honor; the election process has been correct, “he concluded.
It took a month and thirteen days for the JNE to finally name Castillo the winner. The leftist obtained 50.125% of the votes against Fujimori, who took 49.875%.
A country divided after the elections
The narrow margin of 44,000 votes between the two candidates is just one example of the political division in the country. The new president represents a large part of the inhabitants of rural Peru. He, the son of peasants and a former teacher, has motivated a large part of the population tired of the traditional parties.
In fact, Castillo has 53% approval from Peruvians, according to the survey conducted by the Institute of Peruvian Studies (IEP) for the newspaper La República. This percentage is six points higher than the approval he had in June and is similar to the percentage points with which he won the election.
But the poll, released this Saturday, revealed that Peru’s next president has a 45% disapproval. The division is increased, in part, by Fujimori’s constant accusations of the electoral process, which sowed great mistrust in the population, which several times took to the streets denouncing an alleged fraud.
There are also the positions of the political and business elite, which have felt strongly threatened by Castillo’s proposals. Among them, the ones that cause the most fear are a possible reform to the Constitution and higher taxes on the mining industry. In addition, Castillo has been emphatic in seeking to invest in the country’s education and health system before other sectors.
The IEP survey shows that only 23% are in favor of a new constitution, while 18% prefer that the current one be kept as it is, and 58% want “some changes” in the Constitution.
A few days ago and after weeks of rejecting the results, the former candidate stated in a press conference: “I am going to acknowledge the results because it is what the law and the Constitution that I have sworn to defend. The truth is going to end up coming out anyway ”.
In Friday’s ceremony, Castillo was conciliatory and although he called on his political adversaries to collaborate, he receives a highly fragmented country that he will lead until 2026.
With Reuters, AP and EFE