Peru’s Fujimori seeks international vote audit

Peru’s Fujimori seeks international vote audit
Peru’s Fujimori seeks international vote audit

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Keiko Fujimori, who alleged vote fraud as rival Pedro Castillo took the lead in the ballot count, risks an imminent trial on corruption charges that would be delayed until after her term if she were to win the presidency. ― Reuters pic

LIMA, June 29 — Peru presidential hopeful Keiko Fujimori — who narrowly lost the June 6 election, according to unconfirmed results — yesterday urged the country’s current leader to seek an international audit of the vote.

Fujimori, who alleged vote fraud as rival Pedro Castillo took the lead in the ballot count, risks an imminent trial on corruption charges that would be delayed until after her term if she were to win the presidency.

Yesterday, she delivered a letter to interim President Francisco Sagasti, urging him to seek an election audit from “international organisations.”

An independent entity, she told journalists, should review the voter rolls, voting records and other documentation to “determine whether the results processed... represent an accurate reflection of the popular will.”

The United States, European Union and Organisation of American States have said the election was free and fair, and have hailed the work of both the ONPE electoral body that organised the election and the vote count, and the JNE jury reviewing disputed votes.

The JNE must ultimately declare the winner — a process that has been stalled for more than three weeks now by Fujimori’s challenge to thousands of votes.

According to the count, Castillo received 50.12 per cent of votes — some 44,000 more than Fujimori.

Supporters of both candidates have held demonstrations recently, with Fujimori supporters calling for new elections and backers of Castillo seeking an end to the suspense.

The JNE had to halt its vote review work when one of its four judges “declined” to continue his duties, claiming the panel had pre-judged the matter in Castillo’s favour.

A new judge has since been appointed and the review resumed. — AFP

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