By Marco Aquino
LIMA (Reuters) – Peru’s socialist presidential candidate Pedro Castillo said on Saturday he wanted to keep on the head of the central bank Julio Velarde if he was confirmed the winner of a June 6 election as expected, an important signal of stability for markets.
In a speech to supporters he said he hoped that Velarde’s work would remain “permanent” to help give “peace of mind economically” and open the door for investment in the world’s no. 2 copper producer.
Castillo, a wild card candidate, has rattled Peru’s political establishment, markets and mining firms with plans to redraft the constitution and redistribute mining wealth, though has looked to soften his rhetoric in recent weeks.
“Our commitment is to maintain a fiscal balance and improve the quality of public spending, promote investments and respect the independence and autonomy of the BCRP (central bank),” he said in a post on Twitter shortly after his speech.
“Given this we are keen to ratify Dr. Julio Velarde as president of this important institution.”
Castillo holds a slim 44,000-vote lead over right-wing rival Keiko Fujimori with all ballots counted, but the official result has been held up with Fujimori seeking to disqualify votes in favor of the leftist and claiming fraud with little evidence.
Castillo’s Free Peru party has denied the allegations of fraud while international election observers have said the vote was carried out cleanly. The U.S. State Department described the election as fair and a “model of democracy.”
(Reporting by Marco Aquino; Writing by Adam Jourdan)