In a flamboyant return to the public eye, President Alberto Fujimori electrified a crowd of thousands Tuesday night by climbing the towering gate outside the presidential palace to show he still has a firm grasp on power.
Fujimori, forced to loosen his 10-year grip on power by a bribery scandal engulfing his intelligence chief, announced Saturday he would deactivate the National Intelligence Service and call new elections in which he would not be a candidate.
But Fujimori made clear from his perch 15 feet above the throng Tuesday that he will be the one to dictate the terms for Peru's transition to a new government.
"I have a mandate to govern, and I will continue governing. A transition government? There is no way I will permit that," he said afterward, adding he would stay on until a new government is inaugurated July 28.
Aides said Fujimori's government wants a general election for the presidency and congress next March, which will require legislative approval. The opposition agreed Tuesday to return to stalled talks on the election.