The keys to the 200,000 votes that Keiko Fujimori wants to annul in Peru

Lima, June 10 (EFE).- Faced with a probable third consecutive defeat in Peru’s presidential elections, Keiko Fujimori intends to annul 200,000 votes convinced, at the moment without reliable evidence, that the party of her rival Pedro Castillo concocted an alleged “systematic fraud” to win the victory.

The rightist candidate’s hypothesis is that the leftist Peru Libre party “controlled” hundreds of polling stations in rural areas where the teacher and union leader of the teaching profession had an overwhelming vote.

They are votes already counted that were not initially contested by either of the two parties in this electoral contest, whose correct development and transparency were highlighted by the electoral missions of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Inter-American Union of Electoral Organizations (Uniore)

1.- AN UNPUBLISHED SITUATION

This situation is extraordinary and unprecedented, as the president of the National Elections Jury (JNE), Jorge Luis Salas, highlighted on Wednesday, since never before had a candidate requested to invalidate hundreds of thousands of votes when he saw the victory uphill.

For the former head of the National Office of Electoral Processes (ONPE), Fernando Tuesta, it is one more step in the intense media and political campaign against electoral bodies, initiated before the vote with false news to sow distrust and that any of the two candidates will yell fraud.

As he told Efe Tuesta, Fujimori’s legal maneuver moves this campaign to the judicial plane when the best chances of victory were for Castillo, who has 50.2% of the votes compared to 49.8% for the right-wing candidate for 99, 2% of the vote.

The difference between the two is 70,000 votes, a margin that would vanish in favor of Fujimori if the electoral juries accept his resources.

2.- THE “ABUSE” OF A RIGHT

For two days after the vote, a group of lawyers from large firms has worked in favor of Fujimori’s candidacy to review minute by minute in search of alleged irregularities in those rural and poor areas where Castillo had massive support.

With that costly legal support, Fujimori’s goal is to subtract enough votes from Castillo for her to win the presidency, arguing that the polling station members acted in bad faith.

«Our electoral system has many guarantees against the possibility of fraud. One of them is the right to request the nullity of the minutes, but a democratic organization does not abuse that right, “said political scientist Martín Tanaka on social media.

3.- TWO WEEKS OF UNCERTAINTY

The appeals presented may extend the definition of the presidential elections up to two more weeks, according to Tuesta warned.

So far there are at least 600 appeals that must be resolved one by one by the Special Electoral Juries, of which there are a total of 60 in the country, made up of three members each.

However, many of these appeals can then be appealed to the plenary session of the JNE, made up of four magistrates who would receive a great procedural burden with the pressure to resolve it in a few days.

“The electoral judge has to value a basic principle: preserve and guarantee the vote, which is the interpretation of the popular will, and not for reasons that, although they may not be regular, are not strong enough to annul all the votes”, Tuesta commented.

4.- NO WEIGHT TESTS

Within Peru’s electoral regulations, an electoral record can only be annulled if it is conclusively proven that there has been large-scale fraud, bribery, violence or intimidation to induce people to vote.

However, Fujimori’s indications are that there were polling stations that were supposedly controlled by members of the same family because they had the same surname, or also because it was considered “statistically unlikely” that there were polling stations where all the votes were for Castillo in areas of great support for this candidate.

Tuesta indicated that there are areas of the country where certain surnames abound and that the draw for table members is made at the beginning of the year, when no one could anticipate that Castillo would go to the second round, and there was also a deadline to challenge its members.

Added to this is the precariousness of the Peru Libre party, which has hardly been able to organize itself to put together an improvised presidential candidacy, as well as to plan a massive electoral fraud, as Tanaka pointed out.

5.- A HORIZON OF INSTABILITY

“What I fear is that, while the appeals are being resolved, they will continue to talk about fraud and the campaign against electoral bodies will continue, and if it is not favorable they will insist that it is fraud,” anticipated Tuesta.

In this sense, from sectors close to Fujimori, the president of the JNE was accused of having been a lawyer for terrorists in the past, something that he has emphatically denied, but that seeks to link him with the label of “terrorists” that they have put on him. Peru Libre its opponents.

For Tuesta, this situation can lead to “situations of political instability with uncontrolled effects, because if Castillo assumes the Presidency, he will be told that he is an illegitimate president”, something similar to what happened in 2016 when Keiko Fujimori did not accept his defeat against to Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.

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