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Leftist Castillo claims Peru election win

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A socialist candidate has claimed victory in Peru's presidential election, clinging to a narrow lead after the nine-day vote count ended.

Pedro Castillo spoke to supporters in Lima, Tuesday night:

"Today the Peruvian people have raised their heads to say that democratically we will save this fatherland. To say that democratically we are going to save this country."

Pedro Castillo was 44,058 votes ahead of conservative candidate Keiko Fujimori.

The abrupt rise of the 51-year-old former teacher has rattled Peru's political and business elite.

Socialist Castillo galvanized rural and poorer voters who feel left behind in the country's economic growth.

"We must reflect on your struggle, my struggle, and the struggle of the people to find solutions to the great problems of this country."

But Fujimori has yet to concede. Addressing supporters at a rally in downtown Lima on Tuesday, she pledged to keep fighting and "defend Peru's democracy."

She's made allegations of fraud with little evidence and tried to get some ballots annulled.

"We trust the authorities, yes, but we trust more in the popular will. We know that when they analyse these irregularities, they will most likely give us the reason."

Castillo's Free Peru party has rejected accusations of fraud and international observers in Lima have stated that the elections were transparent.

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