peru's new president
Pedro Castillo is Peru's president-elect, officials announced Monday, after certifying his win in the June 6 election.
It was a narrow victory, with Castillo, a 51-year-old far-left union activist and leader of the Free Peru Party, receiving 50.1 percent of the vote, and right-wing lawmaker Keiko Fujimori, daughter of the authoritarian former President Alberto Fujimori, earning 49.9 percent of the vote. Castillo will take office on July 28.
A former school teacher from the rural Andes, Castillo does not have any experience as an elected official. Castillo promised that if elected, he would redraft Peru's constitution, which worries the political establishment. Cynthia McClintock of George Washington University, an expert on Peru, told The Wall Street Journal that Castillo is "quite isolated" and is "going to have a really rough ride." Castillo has said he will not do anything to compromise Peru's fiscal stability, and asked central bank governor Julio Velarde to stay on.
Peru has been rocked by corruption scandals and hit incredibly hard by COVID-19 — it has the highest per capita virus death rate in the world, the Journal reports, and the pandemic has pushed about 10 percent of the population back into poverty.