Keiko Fujimori has shaken the final leg of the vote count in Peru with her suspicions. The conservative candidate had assured during the campaign that she would accept the results, but at the moment of truth she has come to question the process. Fujimori appeared this Monday at a press conference, with Pedro Castillo 95,000 votes ahead and awaiting the ballots of Peruvians abroad, to denounce that he has indications of irregularities in the count that would constitute electoral fraud. The policy did not present any evidence to suggest that this is indeed the case.
“There is a clear intention to boycott the popular will,” said Fujimori. He then asked people to spread the videos that would demonstrate this with the hashtag #FraudeEnMesa. The Fuerza Popular candidate, who is running for the third consecutive time in a second presidential round, also had no plans to speak until 100% of the votes had been counted. However, leftist professor Pedro Castillo distanced himself with 96.387% of the scrutiny (50.281% versus 49.719%). Then Fujimori appeared to stoke the suspicions of a pucherazo, accompanied by two candidates to occupy vice presidencies of his hypothetical government.
Fujimori’s statement contrasts with the evaluation of the electoral observation missions. For example, the head of the OAS mission congratulated Peru on Monday afternoon for the peaceful and democratic conduct of Sunday’s day. “I recognize the electoral authorities for organizing a highly complex process marked by the pandemic and political polarization,” said Rubén Ramírez in a video posted on Twitter.
Given the little difference between the number of votes between one candidate and the other, and the slowness of the scrutiny – a percentage of the votes from rural constituencies and Peruvians abroad still lacks in the accounts – Castillo and Fujimori have expressed concern about the I respect the votes, although only the conservative has spoken of fraud directly.
The head of the OAS mission asked Fujimori and Castillo to wait patiently and calmly for the results. “Any non-conformities,” he said, “will be resolved through legal channels.” The leader of Fuerza Popular is repeating the script of 2016, when Pedro Pablo Kuczynski was given the winner -by tenths- in a quick count by a pollster. In the days that followed, she and her campaign team denounced that their elections were being stolen. When the National Elections Jury proclaimed Kuczynski the winner, the Fujimori leader and her party obstructed the newly elected government with motions of no confidence.
Despite Fujimori’s attitude, not everything has been said. The distance is still reversible. It remains to count the votes abroad, where in theory she has more support. “We know that the votes of Peruvians residing abroad are arriving and we trust that with the counting of these minutes, the vote will match,” he said in this regard.
In addition, a report from the mission of the Inter-American Union of Electoral Organizations recognized the efforts of the ONPE, the Peruvian electoral institute, and the National Elections Jury “to organize a correct and successful process, in accordance with national and international standards.” After Fujimori’s pronouncement, Iván Lanegra, general secretary of the Peruvian Civil Transparency Association – specialized in electoral observation – rejected the possibility of speaking of “fraud” in the elections.
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