Pedro Castillo has defeated Keiko Fujimori by 44,058 votes. That doesn’t mean the electoral battle is over.
With 100% of Peru’s votes counted, the country has a new president-elect. But will Pedro Castillo have a chance to govern?
On June 6th, Peruvians went to the polls to elect a president in a runoff election between right-wing candidate Keiko Fujimori and left-wing contender Pedro Castillo. The night of the elections, the pollster Ipsos gave the first quick count – a method that consists of counting a representative sample of the country’s votes in the presence of the electoral authorities – which showed Castillo ahead with 50.2% of the votes.
On December 21, 2017, Reuters reported that ex-president Alberto Fujimori, in power from 1990 to 2000, had requested an official pardon from current President Pedro Kuczynski. The pardon was medical in nature; Kuczynski’s press release found that “prison conditions mean a serious risk to [Fujimori’s] life, health and integrity.” Fujimori requested the pardon “hours before [his] sympathizers in Congress vote on whether to remove Kuczynski from office.” Kuczynski then publicly pardoned Fujimori on December 24, 2017. In order to understand the significance and implications of the pardon, we must first delve into the political situation at this moment in Peru.