The teacher Pedro Castillo offended the political establishment in Peru. As an absolute outsider, he was surprisingly able to prevail against the heavyweight Keiko Fujimori.
Left-wing candidate Pedro Castillo won the presidential election in Peru. The candidate of the Marxist-Leninist party Perú Libre came to 50.12 percent of the vote, as the electoral court of the South American country announced six weeks after the runoff election on Monday. The right-wing populist Keiko Fujimori received 49.87 percent in the extremely tight second round of the elections. In the past few weeks, the electoral court had to deal with a number of complaints and appeals, especially from the Fujimori camp, which is why the proclamation of the winner was delayed by around a month and a half.
With his victory, the village school teacher Castillo duped the political establishment. As an absolute outsider, he surprisingly won the first round of elections in April and now prevailed against the political heavyweight Fujimori in the runoff election on June 6th.
He comes from a farming family in the province of Chota in the north of the country and led a teachers’ strike in 2017. During the election campaign, he announced that he would build a socialist state, control the media more closely and abolish the constitutional court. In terms of social policy, however, he is conservative and rejects same-sex marriage and abortion.
The challenges for the new president are enormous: Peru is suffering particularly badly from the corona pandemic. It is one of the countries with the highest mortality rate in the world, and the economy collapsed by 12.9 percent. In the interior of the country, splinter groups of the guerrilla organization Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) are still active.