U.S. Says Peru’s Contested Election Was ‘Model of Democracy’

The U.S. described Peru’s contested presidential elections as “free, fair, accessible and peaceful,” contradicting claims made by right-wing candidate Keiko Fujimori that the vote was plagued by irregularities.

“Those recent elections are a model of democracy in the region,” State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement on Tuesday, adding that the U.S. looks forward to working with the “candidate duly elected by the people of Peru, as confirmed by Peru’s electoral authorities.”

With all ballots counted, leftist candidate Pedro Castillo is winning the June 6 runoff with 50.1% of the votes against 49.9% for Fujimori, who has refused to concede and is demanding instead that electoral authorities review ballots deemed irregular by her party. If the electoral court confirms Castillo’s victory, he’ll take office July 28.

U.S. Says Peru’s Contested Election Was ‘Model of Democracy’

The U.S. supports giving electoral authorities the necessary time to process and publish the results of the election, in accordance with Peruvian law, the statement read. The procedure is in the final stages and the country’s electoral court will review Fujimori’s appeals on Wednesday.

Tensions are high in the Andean country as political polarization reaches new highs. Castillo, a union activist from a Marxist party, has won the support of the country’s rural, poorer areas while Fujimori won in urban centers such as Lima, the capital.

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