With two weeks to go before the end of the government of Peru’s interim president, Francisco Sagasti, the official result of the country’s fierce presidential election has not yet been announced by the electoral authorities, while allegations of alleged electoral fraud are being investigated.
The Popular Forces party, run by Peruvian presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori, will appeal against at least 15 minutes of voting by regional electoral authorities, which on Tuesday completed all the decentralized proclamations of the second round results in favor of leftist candidate Pedro Castillo.
In the final stretch of the long Peruvian electoral process, lawyer Julio César Castiglioni, a member of the Popular Force’s legal team, told the newspaper “El Comercio” that the Fujimorist group will appeal against at least 15 minutes of the Special Electoral Juries (JEE) that do not favor your candidate.
The announcement was made on the same day that the minutes of results in the regional electoral courts were completed, which had not yet been “resolved” in the system of the National Elections Jury (JNE), Peru’s national electoral body.
However, the total number of votes that must be contested comes to just 5,400, which is not enough to reverse the election result, although it could delay the winner’s proclamation and hinder the transfer of power to Castillo, according to Reuters, which heard the lawyer Julio Castiglioni.
If there are no objections, these last minutes will be accepted and forwarded to the JNE, which in this scenario expects to issue the general proclamation of results on July 19 or 20.
However, if Força Popular presents appeals before next Friday, when the three-day period established by the electoral law expires, the proclamation of the June 6 election may be postponed to even later.
Counting down to July 28, when the transitional regime presided over by Francisco Sagasti will end, this new legal maneuver of Fujimorism, although foreseen within the normative framework, may postpone the official proclamation of who will assume command of the country.
“It’s not our problem whether the proclamation process is going to be postponed or not, it’s the problem of those who didn’t want to facilitate the clarification of the fraud issue,” Castiglioni said.
Recourses against these decentralized acts of proclamation are the last possible. At this stage, it is no longer possible to refer to issues of fingerprints or signature, but to present supposed numerical errors.
In other words, Força Popular would have to prove that the National Office of Electoral Processes (ONPE) made a numerical error and that this was noticed by the regional electoral authorities.
From the day after the poll, Keiko Fujimori claims that she was the victim of “systematic fraud” and asked for the annulment of the minutes with about 200,000 votes from rural areas, where Castillo obtained an expressive vote.
The candidate on the right did not present very strong evidence of these accusations, only alleged irregularities at the polling stations with the signatures of those responsible for them, which she presented as “identity theft” or alleged family ties between the members of the polling stations, something prohibited by law.
All these complaints were rejected in the first instance by the JEEs and then transmitted to the JNE, which last Monday concluded the process of publishing the resolutions declaring the appeals groundless.
In addition, no electoral observation body, including the Organization of American States (OAS), found evidence of fraud, while the European Union, United States, United Kingdom and Canada expressed confidence in the Peruvian electoral system and said they believed the elections were free and fair.
The daughter and political heir of former president Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000) tries to find evidence to support the alleged fraud allegation in order to reverse the election results. According to the final tally, Castillo won the second round of elections with 50.12% of the votes – or 44,000 votes more than his rival.
Despite this, Keiko has already declared that she will not accept Castillo’s promulgation as Peru’s elected president because, in the candidate’s opinion, this will “consummate the fraud”.