LIMA, Peru—Five days after a presidential election, socialist labor leader Pedro Castillo will likely clinch Peru’s presidency even as his right-wing rival challenges thousands of votes in a last-ditch effort to flip the outcome amid mounting tension.
With 99.6% of ballots counted as of Friday, political scientists and pollsters say Mr. Castillo, a teacher’s union leader and head of a Marxist party, is expected to defeat his right-wing opponent Keiko Fujimori after he took 50.2% of the votes in Sunday’s election, a razor-thin lead of about 60,000 votes, according to the election agency.
“The consensus is that this is over,” said Julio Carrión, a Peruvian political scientist at the University of Delaware. “It would take a gigantic development to change the outcome.”
If the count holds, the son of poor Andean farmers will take office on July 28 amid a grueling pandemic that has pushed 3 million Peruvians back into poverty and killed more than 187,000 people, the world’s worst per capita death toll.
“The people have won this fight,” said Mr. Castillo, wearing his trademark wide-brimmed hat, as he celebrated from a balcony in Lima on Wednesday in front of hundreds of supporters.