Pedro Castillo: Meet school teacher who is now Peru’s new president

Pedro Castillo has been declared Peru’s president-elect, six weeks after elections during which the results were delayed by claims of electoral fraud from his right-wing rival, Keiko Fujimori.

Mr. Castillo, a 51-year-old former school teacher, and union leader secured just over 50% of the votes.

He will now be sworn in as Peru’s president on 28 July, becoming the first non-rich president of Peru. His victory leaves rival Fujimori facing an imminent corruption trial.

In a tweet, Peru’s current President Francisco Sagasti said he welcomed the announcement.

Mr. Castillo burst onto the national scene four years ago when he led thousands of teachers on a successful strike overpay.

During his presidential campaign, Mr. Castillo pledged to nationalize Peru’s lucrative mining and hydrocarbon sectors and said he would aim to create a million new jobs in a year.

He also proposed re-introducing the death penalty to help tackle crime.

Among his more controversial campaign promises, Castillo has vowed to expel illegal foreigners who commit crimes in Peru, giving them “72 hours to leave the country,” a warning to undocumented Venezuelan migrants who have arrived in the hundreds of thousands since 2017.

The US embassy in Lima congratulated Peruvians on successful elections.

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“We value our deep ties and hope to strengthen them with the president-elect Pedro Castillo after his inauguration,” it said on Twitter.

Ms. Fujimori is the daughter of former President Alberto Fujimori, who is in jail serving a 25-year sentence for crimes including corruption and human rights abuses.

Ms. Fujimori herself is being investigated for alleged corruption and money laundering claims she says are politically motivated. Her failure to become president means prosecutors can now proceed with the charges against her, the BBC reported.

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