Mon, 26 Jul 2021

LIMA, July 20 (Xinhua) -- The declaration of Pedro Castillo being the president-elect of Peru has generated "high hopes" among the people, who expect him to bring about change, political observer Jerjes Loayza said Tuesday.

In an interview with Xinhua, the sociologist and professor at the National University of San Marcos said the expectation is that the progressive candidate of the Free Peru party, who takes office July 28, will lead a "more social-democratic" government.

Asked about Castillo's campaign pledges, Loayza said his ability to deliver on those promises will depend on how political negotiations pan out in Congress, which is scheduled to be installed on July 27.

Castillo won the runoff by a slim margin, obtaining 8,836,380 votes, or 50.12 percent of the ballots, while rival Keiko Fujimori, of the conservative Popular Force party, got 8,792,117 votes, or 49.87 percent.

Fujimori contested the results in a series of appeals that sought, unsuccessfully, to annul 200,000 votes in favor of Castillo.

Passing reforms through Congress is likely to be an uphill battle, because so far four of the 10 parties that have won legislative seats, including Popular Force, Alliance for Progress, Popular Renewal, and Avanza Pais, have announced they will assume the role of opposition to Castillo's government.

Smaller parties, such as Together for Peru, We Are Peru, We Can Peru and the Purple Party, have said they will work with the ruling party to promote governance, while Popular Action has said it will provide governance with due oversight.

In Loayza's view, Castillo's main challenge will be to convey confidence in his ability to both tackle economic matters and handle the pandemic to facilitate the ongoing vaccination drive.

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