Peru electoral authority on cusp of confirming new president, scraps last Fujimori appeals

FILE PHOTO: Peru's presidential candidate Pedro Castillo addresses supporters from the headquarters of the "Free Peru" party in Lima, Peru, June 15, 2021. REUTERS/Sebastian Castaneda/File Photo

LIMA (Reuters) - Peru's electoral authority said on Monday it will announce a winner of the country's June 6 presidential election this week after it tossed out the last appeals by right-wing contender Keiko Fujimori, leaving leftist Pedro Castillo on the doorstep of the presidency.

The run-off vote ended with political outsider Castillo ahead by a narrow margin of 44,000 votes, but the official result has been delayed for weeks by appeals from Fujimori aimed at annulling some ballots over alleged fraud, despite little evidence.

The National Jury of Elections said on Twitter it had ruled inadmissible the final five appeals presented last week by Fujimori's Popular Force party, and would "proceed to the preparation of the act of proclamation of general results."

The authority said the act would take place this week.

An attorney for Fujimori earlier told Reuters that once the process before the electoral officials had been exhausted, her campaign had no plans to take further legal action.

The Organization of American States, European Union, Canada, Britain and the U.S. State Department have all stated that the elections in the Andean nation were clean.

Castillo, if confirmed in time, would take office on July 28 for a five-year term as leader of the world's second largest copper-producing nation.

A 51-year-old former school teacher and the son of peasant farmers, Castillo has pledged to redraft the constitution and hike taxes on mining firms, but has in recent weeks softened his rhetoric and hinted at a more moderate, market-friendly approach.

The tightly contested vote has deeply divided Peru and put a spotlight on regional and social tensions, with poorer rural voters backing Castillo and wealthier urban Peruvians favoring Fujimori.

(Reporting by Marco Aquino, writing by Dave Sherwood, editing by Richard Pullin)

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