LIMA – Lima’s Special Electoral Board has rejected an exclusion request filed against the candidacy of Keiko Fujimori, who ranks first in the polls ahead of Peru’s April 10 presidential election.
The decision was announced Wednesday night amid a state of anticipation about the electoral future of Fujimori, daughter of disgraced former President Alberto Fujimori – who is serving a 25-year prison sentence for crimes against humanity and corruption.
Congressperson Heriberto Benitez and ex-Judge Maleson Urbina, who filed the exclusion request, had announced that if the ruling is negative, they will appeal to the National Elections Board, or JNE, the highest Peruvian electoral body.
The JNE noted in its decision that Fujimori has not offered or given money to citizens to gain their votes, which is prohibited by the law of elections and because of which the filed request asked the court to exclude the candidate from the race.
Fujimori had asked the electoral body on Tuesday to quickly issue its decisions on the exclusion applications, in light of the proximity of the election.
On March 14, the JNE rejected a pair of special appeals from presidential candidates Julio Guzman and Cesar Acuña against a decision barring them from the election.
Acuña, a businessman, was disqualified because his campaign had distributed money to voters, while economist and former Cabinet Minister Guzman – who was running second in the polls – was ousted over supposed irregularities in how his party chose its presidential ticket.
The rulings, which may not be appealed, were issued after a public hearing last Sunday at which Acuña’s Alliance for Progress in Peru and Guzman’s All for Peru parties made their arguments before the JNE.