LIMA, Peru — His parents were peasant farmers who never learned to read. As a child, he walked hours to school, before becoming a teacher himself. Then, two months ago, he burst onto Peru’s national political scene as an anti-establishment candidate with a captivating call to the ballot box: “No more poor people in a rich country.”
And on Monday night, more than a month since the second round of the presidential election, officials declared Pedro Castillo, 51, the next president of Peru. In a very close vote, he defeated Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of a right-wing former president and herself a towering symbol of the Peruvian elite.
Mr. Castillo’s victory, however narrow the margin, is the clearest repudiation of the country’s establishment in 30 years. It was also the third straight loss for Ms. Fujimori.
Mr. Castillo, a socialist, will become Peru’s first left-wing president in more than a generation, and its first to have lived most of his life as a “campesino” — or peasant — in a poor Andean region.
In a victory speech from a balcony in downtown Lima, with his supporters chanting “yes, we could” in the streets below, Mr. Castillo promised to work for all Peruvians.
“I call for the broadest unity of the Peruvian people,” Mr. Castillo said. “Together we’ll share this struggle and this effort to make a more just, dignified and united Peru.”
Addressing Ms. Fujimori, he added: “Let’s not add more obstacles to moving this country forward.”
The announcement of his victory came after a more than monthlong effort by Ms. Fujimori to have about 200,000 votes tossed out in areas where Mr. Castillo won by a landslide, an
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