Each side in Peru’s contested election double down in weekend rallies By Reuters

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© Reuters. Peru’s presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori gestures in Lima, Peru on June 19, 2021. REUTERS / Gerardo Marin

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LIMA (Reuters) – Supporters of socialist Pedro Castillo and Conservative Keiko Fujimori took to the streets by the thousands in Peru on Saturday as tensions mounted over the June 6th presidential election result.

Castillo led the official count, while Fujimori sought the cancellation of the votes, despite polling institute Ipsos Peru saying it conducted statistical analysis of the ballots and found no evidence of abnormal voting patterns that would benefit one candidate over the other.

“We will not let them ignore the will of the people, ignore the election result. We will defend democracy,” said Veronika Mendoza, former left-wing presidential candidate, at the rally in support of Castillo.

She accused the Fujimori camp of lying about electoral fraud. Castillo, who wants to rewrite the constitution if he is named winner, received 50.125% of the vote, with a difference of 44,058 votes. He declared himself the winner.

Fujimori, daughter of imprisoned ex-president Alberto Fujimori, showed no signs of giving in.

“We will not accept that our votes are stolen,” she said at a rally.

In order to officially nominate a winner, the National Election Jury must resolve any challenges related to the results. Mining companies are closely monitoring the process, and business leaders express concern about the impact Castillo’s socialist policies would have on the world’s leading producer.

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