Peru’s electoral board rejects move to bar Keiko Fujimori

World Today

Peru’s electoral board has rejected a move to bar the leading presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori from the first round of elections set for April 10th.

CCTV’s Dan Collyns reports from Lima.

Peru's electoral board rejects move to bar Keiko Fujimori

Peru's electoral board has rejected a move to bar the leading presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori from the first round of elections set for April 10th. CCTV's Dan Collyns reports from Lima.

The decision was published and handed out to journalists in the early hours of the morning.

Peru’s top electoral court ruled out vote-buying allegations against Keiko Fujimori, the front-running candidate in Peru’s presidential elections.

She was accused a handing out cash prizes worth around $89 at a Valentine’s Day break-dancing event. The law bars candidates from giving more than $6 during campaign events.

One candidate has already been expelled from the electoral race for allegedly handing out cash on the campaign trail. Critics of this decision say it’s one rule for one and one for another.

Calls for Keiko Fujimori to be barred for breaking a new law against vote-buying have been at the forefront of street protests against the candidate.

Despite polling with around one-third of vote, Fujimori remains controversial and many Peruvians say they would never vote for her.

She’s the daughter of former leader Alberto Fujimori who was jailed for 25 years for corruption and directing death squads during the 1990s.

Earlier this month, the electoral board banned two other candidates from the first round of voting, including the main challenger to Fujimori, Julio Guzman.

The 45-year-old U.S.-educated economist told CCTV the decision to bar him was arbitrary. He said, “Three political parties that are participating in the Peruvian presidential elections committed exactly the same errors and the electoral authorities said: ‘Okay, you can participate but Julio Guzman cannot.’ So, that asymmetry, that disproportion in applying the law is also outrageous!”

But some observers say the removal of the leading candidate at this late stage would throw the electoral process into disarray.

Despite Fujimori’s lead, polls indicate no candidate will win the 50 percent needed to win the first round and there will be a run-off in June.