Three weeks have passed since the historic June 6 presidential election in Peru, and yet the winner has yet to be officially declared by the country’s electoral authorities. This is despite the fact that the Peruvian National Office of Electoral Processes (ONPE) released the final vote count on June 15 showing that the left-of-centre candidate Pedro Castillo had narrowly prevailed over his right-wing opponent Keiko Fujimori by 50.1% to 49.9%, and that all international election observer teams, including from the U.S. and the Organization of American States (OAS), have declared that the elections were properly carried out, “clean” and fraud-free.
The delay in confirming Castillo’s election victory has been caused by the actions of the defeated candidate Fujimori and her legal team, which have filed over 900 claims of “election fraud” with the National Jury of Elections (JNE), the body charged with reviewing such charges. The JNE has already thrown out hundreds of these dubious claims as “baseless”, but because of the huge number of claims, a large backlog remains, further delaying any final resolution of the election.
This is a typical delaying tactic aimed at creating a climate of doubt, and laying the basis for overturning the popular will of the people through civil war or a military coup d’état. Already, some 80 retired generals and officers from the Peruvian Armed Forces have issued an “open letter” demanding that Castillo’s election be overturned.
Even though a large number of other states have already recognized Castillo’s victory and demanded a peaceful and orderly transition of power to the newly-elected president, Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau and the Canadian government have been strangely silent. This unacceptable position from Ottawa only serves to intensify tensions, opening the door to an unconstitutional and anti-democratic seizure of power by reactionary, oligarchic class forces in Peru.
The Communist Party of Canada demands that the Canadian government publicly acknowledge the election results in Peru, send its congratulations to the newly-elected President Pedro Castillo, and state openly that Canada will not tolerate any maneuver – ‘legal’ or otherwise – to frustrate or overturn the popular democratic will of the Peruvian people. Our Party also urges the labour and other progressive and democratic movements to raise our voices demanding that Ottawa break its silence and respect the democratic choice of the people of Peru.
Central Executive Committee, Communist Party of Canada