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Supporters of Peru’s President-elect Pedro Castillo celebrate in Lima after he was formally declared the winner on July 20. Photo: Klebher Vasquez/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Teacher Pedro Castillo was finally confirmed as the winner of Peru’s June 6 elections after a drawn-out battle with his rival Keiko Fujimori, who alleged fraud. But the greatest challenges are the ones to come.

What’s happening: Peru faces concurrent crises from having the world’s highest coronavirus death rate per capita, the pandemic plunging a third of the population into poverty, and long-standing distrust in political institutions.

  • Castillo will be the fifth president in as many years, after a series of removals by Congress, planned impeachments and forced resignations over corruption allegations and accusations of police brutality.
  • He faces a country divided by the electoral battle and a highly divided Congress. Perú Libre, the leftist party that nominated him, has 37 seats, while his electoral rival Fuerza Libre and allied right parties have 49.

What to watch: The former teacher’s union leader says an initial focus of his presidency will be a new constitution “to put an end to sexist, classist and racist discrimination against Andean, Amazonian, Afrodescendant and vulnerable populations.”

  • Castillo has also promised an emergency plan to set up more ICUs and accelerate vaccinations as Peru faces the highly contagious Lambda and Delta SARS-CoV-2 variants.

Looking ahead: Castillo’s inauguration is scheduled for July 28, and he needs to form the cabinet before that.

  • That cabinet will reportedly be composed of technocrats to address concerns that Castillo, who says he is a Marxist, will derail the economy.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Bipartisan police reform negotiations end without deal

Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) with Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) in the Capitol in May 2021. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Bipartisan talks on reforming police tactics and accountability, prompted by George Floyd's murder in May 2020, have ended without a compromise, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), a key negotiator, said Wednesday.

Why it matters: Lawmakers, led by Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Booker, had been working toward a bipartisan deal for months but things fell apart due to disagreements on qualified immunity and other issues.

Federal Reserve scales back expectations for economic recovery as Delta variant weighs

Fed chair Jerome Powell during a congressional hearing last year. (Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The Fed downgraded near-term expectations for the economy and the labor market, alongside hotter-than-expected inflation, in new estimates out on Wednesday.

Why it matters: It's the first time those closely-watched estimates reflect impact from the delta variant that's already rattled the labor market. Still, Fed chairman Jerome Powell said enough progress has been made to begin to pull back emergency-era measures that have supported the economy.

Biden speaks with Macron for first time since diplomatic crisis

President Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron have a conversation ahead of the NATO summit in Brussels, on June 14, 2021. Photo: Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

President Biden on Wednesday spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron for the first time since a diplomatic row erupted over a scrapped submarine order, per the White House.

Driving the news: Macron said that the French ambassador will return to Washington next week and will resume working with senior U.S. officials.