Left-wing presidential candidate Pedro Castillo is set to win by a large margin, but official results have yet to be announced.
The UN human rights chief urged Peruvians to “stay calm” as the official results of a deeply polarized The presidential runoff has yet to be released, more than a week after the vote was held in the Andean nation.
In a statement released on Monday, Michelle Bachelet said she was “concerned that what should be a celebration of democracy becomes a source of division, which in turn deepens the divide in Peruvian society with implications negative on human rights “.
She also expressed concern about the harassment of election officials.
“If the rules of democracy are not accepted before, during and after elections, social cohesion can dangerously crack,” said Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Millions of Peruvians have made their way to the polls on June 6 choose between left-wing teachers’ union leader Pedro Castillo and right-wing Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of jailed ex-president Alberto Fujimori.
The election took place amid deep political divisions in Peru, which is struggling to cope with the outbreak COVID-19 infections and deaths, as well as an economic slowdown linked to a pandemic.
Castillo is widely expected to be declared the winner; with nearly all the ballots counted, he had 50.14 percent support and a narrow lead of less than 50,000 votes over Fujimori.
She alleged fraud, without providing any evidence to support her claims, and sought to overturn numerous votes.
International observers said the election was conducted without any serious irregularities.
It is still unclear when the country’s electoral body will officially announce the winner, although Castillo has called for the tally to be completed quickly to end the uncertainty.
But Peru’s National Election Jury (JNE), which resolves disputes and proclaims the winner, examines protests from tens of thousands of votes cast in 165 polling stations across the country – 151 of them contested by Fujimori and 14 by Castillo. This process could take several days.
Magaly Roca, who was listening to a radio show about the vote count at her store in the corner of Lima, the capital, said she voted for Castillo in the second round when he was not initially her favorite candidate.
“She put too many obstacles,” Roca told Reuters news agency, referring to Fujimori. “The whole time she had a majority in Congress, she was blocking everything. She is the reason why we did not move forward before. I do not consider her capable of governing.
Carlos Gurmendi, who works as a porter in a residential area, said he reluctantly voted for Fujimori. “I voted for the lesser of two evils,” said the 66-year-old.
Marches by supporters of the two candidates erupted in Lima over the past week, with some pro-Castillo voters arriving in the rural capital to protest and supporters of Fujimori supporting his accusations of fraud.