Peru Elections: Fujimori’s Fraud Allegations Criticized As His Rival’s Narrow Advance Widens | Peru

Keiko Fujimori, one of two contenders voting for Peru’s presidency, alleged frauds and irregularities in Sunday’s election tally as rival leftist teacher Pedro Castillo digs a narrow lead.

An inter-American observation mission has not report any irregularities and declared that the ballot was conducted correctly, in accordance with international standards.

With over 97% of the official votes counted, far-left candidate Castillo holds a slim lead of around 0.4% over his far-right opponent, an advantage of around 70,000 votes.

But in a late press conference on Monday, Fujimori, 46, said there had been a “series of irregularities which worry us and which we think is important to highlight.”

She accused Castillo’s party, Free Peru, of using a strategy to “distort and delay results that reflect the popular will” by challenging the ballot counts which she said favored her Fuerza Popular party. .

Later Monday evening, Castillo addressed a large crowd of supporters from a balcony in downtown Lima. “We must be respectful of the will of the people,” he shouted into a megaphone. “I will be the first to ensure that the will of the Peruvian people is respected.”

Fujimori’s remarks have drawn criticism from politicians and analysts who have described it as an act of desperation as she looks set to lose her third run-off in 10 years.

“It is extremely regrettable that when the result is not favorable, that the candidate speaks of fraud. It’s terrible, ”Fernando Tuesta, professor of political science at the Pontifical Catholic University of Lima, told RPP national radio station on Monday evening. “They have talked about fraud because they do not want to respect the result,” he said.

Fujimori, the daughter of the imprisoned former president Alberto Fujimori, narrowly lost the second round elections in 2011 to Ollanta Humala by just 3% of the vote, then in 2016 to Pedro Pablo Kuczynski by an even slimmer margin.

As a candidate, Fujimori’s father – who is serving a 25-year sentence for corruption and death squad murders – and her own record as a politician work against her.

Presidential candidate Pedro Castillo greets supporters celebrating the partial election results that show him ahead of Keiko Fujimori. Photography: Martín Mejía / AP

Fujimori has also racked up corruption charges, accused of receiving more than $ 17 million in illegal campaign funds and being the head of a criminal organization, and could face a 30-year prison sentence. he is found guilty. She denies the allegations, which she describes as politically motivated.

Before the vote count began, Nicolas Saldias, an analyst for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Economist Intelligence Unit, predicted that a close result “could be challenged amid accusations of fraud.”

“Whoever wins the elections will have a very weak electoral mandate which will make governance exceptionally difficult as neither Castillo nor Fujimori have a legislative majority,” said Saldias.

Voting in the Covid-defeated nation divided the country between the poor rural Andes and the richer, more urban north coast and the capital Lima. It comes amid one of the worst economic downturns in the region, which has plunged nearly 10% of the Peruvian population into poverty, millions of people unemployed, and prompted many more to leave major cities and leave. return to their rural villages.

This article was modified on June 9, 2021 to remove an obsolete chart.

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