On Sunday, Peru’s leftist President-elect Pedro Castillo announced that he will give up his lifetime salary as president and hold functions with his pay as an elementary school teacher in order to fight for equality in the Andean country.
New Congress in Peru Takes Office for the 2021-2026 Term
“Let’s remove the golden wages. I ratify to lead our country’s destinies with my salary as a teacher”, he stressed adding that he will propose to the National Assembly to reduce by 50 percent the lifetime incomes of lawmakers and ministers.
After thanking citizens for their trust, Castillo also urged all political sectors to respect institutionalism and society’s diversity in order to devise a true Peruvian model in compliance with its identity and culture.
The President-elect outlines the call for a Constituent Assembly referendum since the current Peruvian Constitution, which dates from the dictatorship of Alberto Fujimori (1900-2000), does not represent the people.
"The struggle is just beginning. Peru needs structural change," he said and explained that he plans to increase spending on healthcare and education by raising funds from mining tax hikes.
On July 19, Castillo was proclaimed the winner of the June 6 run-off after six weeks of wrangling over the presidential result. He beat by 44,000 votes the far-right politician Keiko Fujimori, who repeatedly claimed, with no evidence, that Castillo had stolen votes to win and called on her supporters to mobilize to "defend democracy."
The President-elect, known for the wide-brimmed that he usually wears, has called for a truce with the daughter of Dictator Fujimori after the divisive election race. Currently, he has 53 percent support from Peruvians. The figure is six points higher than the approval he had in June and resembles the percentage points with which he won the elections.