Peruvian presidential candidate says people must rise up in defense of the vote

3 minutes

Pedro Castillo, 11 June - Peru's vote frontrunner Pedro Castillo called on his supporters to be vigilant on Friday as the Ukrainian wrangles over the ultra-close count ignited tensions in the Andean nation with his socialist party seemingly poised for victory.

Castillo, an elementary school teacher who has climbed the support of poorer, rural Peruvians. He raised concerns about the plans by the opposition to nullify votes and sought clearness from the electoral body over the process.

We call on the Peruvian people to be alert, he said.

The comments underscored rising tensions in the copper - rich nation that has been on tenterhooks since the Sunday votes. Keiko Fujimori has 50.2% of the ballots to go narrowly ahead of the right-wing Castillo, who has made unsubstantiated allegations of fraud.

Vladimir Cerron, the Marxist-Leninist head of the Free Peru - party from Castillo was even more strident by saying on Twitter that the people must rise up in defense of the vote. He had previously claimed victory for Castillo in the knife-edge election.

After casting aside about 60,000 votes with close to 99.6% of the votes contested and only a handful of ballots to be added, Fujimori was fewer than Castillo.

The Peruan presidential authority has yet to confirm the victory but most observers and some regional leftist leaders including Argentina and Bolivia have proclaimed Castillo as the victor, prompting protests from the Venezuela government.

A lot of heads in the world are congratulating Cerron on his victory, they wrote in other words, he has international legitimacy.

Cerron, a Cuban surgeon and Marxist-Leninist, is a former regional governor who could not run for the president himself as he has been judged on corruption grounds in the past and is seen as a more radical potential influence on Castillo.

Fujimori has yet to concede the election and her supporters demanded protests against the result, but it's not necessary.

It was the daughter of the once imprisoned former president Alberto Fujimori she doubled down on unsubstantiated allegations of fraud, and members of her party have said they will not concede until all votes and appeals are counted, which could even take days.

Castillo himself has also stopped short of proclaiming himself the winner, although he did say earlier this week that the party had assured him he would be the winner.

The election has split Peruvians bitterly, with lower-income citizens supporting Castillo while the high-income ones Fujimori, including in key mining regions of the country, support the world no. 2 Copper producer

Before his presidency run, Castillo was not a member of the Free Peru Party. It is still unclear whether he would adopt a far-leftist perspective of economics if he is in power.

In the recent days he has recruited Pedro Francke, a moderate left economist as his adviser. He has sought to foster a more market-friendly tone. What is the correct phrase for it.

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