Presidential candidate to be detained in Peru, poll result pending




Four days after a presidential election in Peru, the public prosecutor’s office has again requested pre-trial detention of candidate Keiko Fujimori.

The right-wing populist politician had violated the conditions of her release from preventive custody in an ongoing trial; it was said in the justification on Thursday.

Fujimori has been remanded several times in recent years on charges.

Meanwhile, everything was pointing to a narrow victory for the hard-left candidate Pedro Castillo over Fujimori.

After almost all votes had been counted, the candidate of the Marxist-Leninist party, Peru Libre, received 50.17 per cent against Fujimori’s 49.82 per cent.

However, the electoral office has yet to declare either candidate the winner.

Castillo on Friday asked his supporters to show discretion.

“This is the time of maturity and rest.

“I will always stand by the people. I will not use the democratic space to cover up crimes,’’ Castillo promised.

Following allegations of fraud, Fujimori’s party, Fuerza Popular, had also recently requested that around 200,000 votes be declared invalid over alleged irregularities at polling stations.

“We will continue to defend the legitimate right of millions of Peruvians until the last vote,’’ Fujimori said on Thursday afternoon.

Election observers, on the other hand, said that Sunday’s run-off election had largely been conducted in an orderly manner.

“So far, all the reports produced by the institutions in charge of the electoral process suggest that the election has taken place in an orderly and peaceful manner, without any setbacks that justify using a word as big as fraud,’’ Interim President Francisco Sagasti said.

“I see no reason to allow this process to be tarnished, and I have absolute confidence in the autonomy and efficiency of electoral authorities,’’ he added, according to national news agency, Andina.

Although Castillo and Fujimori represent opposite extremes on the political scale, they are not far apart in their socio-political views.

Both represent a conservative image of the family and are against same-sex marriage and abortion.

Both also focus on exploitation of natural resources.

Whoever wins will face enormous challenges. Peru is suffering badly particularly from the Coronavirus pandemic.

It is one of the countries with the highest mortality rate in the world and its economy collapsed by 12.9 per cent last year.

In addition, splinter groups of the guerrilla organisation Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) were still active in the country’s interior.

Political turmoil has marked the past year, as the Congress was locked in a bitter conflict with the government.

Parliamentarians first forced President Martin Vizcarra out of office and, then, his successor, Manuel Merino, threw in the towel after fierce protests.

Sagasti has been in charge meanwhile. (dpa/)

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