Supporters of Pedro Castillo want the election results maintained, while supporters of Keiko Fujimori want the vote overturned.
Supporters of socialist Pedro Castillo and conservative Keiko Fujimori took to the streets in Peru in their thousands on Saturday as tensions mounted over the outcome of the June 6 presidential election.
Castillo, who received 50.125% of the vote with a difference of 44,058 ballots, declared himself the winner.
Fujimori obtained 49.875% of the vote and made allegations of large-scale electoral fraud.
In the Peruvian capital, Lima, Castillo supporters gathered in “2 de Mayo” square, calling for the left-wing candidate to be officially announced as president-elect.
Fujimori’s supporters also staged a rival protest in another part of the city to demand the cancellation of the second round of the elections.
The national election jury said it is still reviewing the votes and has yet to declare a winner.
“We are not going to allow them to ignore the popular will, to ignore the electoral result. We will defend democracy, ”said Veronika Mendoza, a former leftist presidential candidate who attended the rally for Castillo.
“Unfortunately, Mrs.” K ” [Keiko Fujimori] is a corrupt woman who should not be president and should accept defeat because what has won here is democracy, the fair vote of the people, ”said Ruben, another pro-Castillo protester.
International observers said there was no evidence of fraud and the election was clean.
Pollster Ipsos Peru also said he performed a statistical analysis of the ballots and found no evidence of abnormal voting patterns that would have benefited one candidate over the other.
But Fujimori, daughter of jailed ex-president Alberto Fujimori, has shown no sign of weakening.
“We are not going to allow our votes to be stolen,” she told supporters in Lima.
“We will give our lives for the country; it’s not about Keiko, it’s about Peru, no terrorism, no communism, ”said Nancy Falla, who attended the pro-Fujimori rally.
The tense vote count is the culmination of a bitterly divided election in Peru, where many low-income citizens supported Castillo while most of the wealthy voted for Fujimori.
The opposing candidates have promised very different remedies to save Peru from the economic slump caused by the COVID-19 crisis.
The Andean country has the worst coronavirus death rate in the world, recording more than 187,000 deaths among its 33 million people.
Two million Peruvians also lost their jobs during the pandemic and nearly a third of the country now lives in poverty, official figures show.
Fujimori, 46, pledged to follow the free market model and maintain economic stability, while Castillo, 51, pledged to reformulate the country’s constitution to strengthen the role of the state, take a more large part of the profits of mining companies and nationalize the main industries – Peru is the world’s second largest producer of copper.