The losing candidate in Sunday’s presidential election in Peru, Keiko Fujimori, has begun the process to appeal for the nullification of 802 voting stations, which her campaign says is equivalent to 200,000 votes.
In particular, Fujimori’s team will go after the votes obtained by her rival in the center and south of the country and in areas where teacher Pedro Castillo obtained a high number of votes. This will include efforts to invalidate votes in Cajamarca, Ancash, Ayacucho, Huancavelica, Arequipa, Cusco, Moquegua, Puno and Tacna. If successful, hundreds of thousands of Peruvians will be stripped of their right to elect their President, allowing Fujimori to reverse the numbers in order to steal the election.
The procedure, through which Fujimori’s Fuerza Popular party is attempting to manipulate the election outcome, involves a large team of highly experienced attorneys and the payment of 1,100 soles for each voting station, for a total cost of 882,200 soles. The candidate stated that, “500,000 votes are still at stake” when factoring all observed tally sheets, adding that, “Half a million votes at national level that we believe it is essential to analyze for the final recount.”
Fujimori first made unsubstantiated allegations of ‘systematic fraud’ on Monday evening once it became clear that Castillo’s lead would be irreversible, with her defeat inevitable.
Only 19 requests to nullify voting tables were filed in the second round of the 2016 elections, in a vote where Fujimori was similarly defeated by a small margin and where she also alleged fraud.
With over 99% of actas counted, Peru Libre’s Castillo, is the clear winner by a margin of 71,500 votes (Castillo with 50.2% and Fujimori with 49.8%) and awaits the declaration of electoral authorities at the completion of the official vote count.
Despite her current attempts to undermine the democratic process, Fujimori says that she will accept the conclusion reached by the National Jury of Elections (JNE) and the National Official of Electoral Processes (ONPE).
Castillo reiterated the call for calm to his supporters, this time, from his official social media pages:
“Dear brothers and sisters: I thank those who continue to resist in the streets. Let us not fall into provocations of those who want to see this country in chaos. Therefore, we call for peace, tranquility and unity. Let us remain firm and joyful in this final struggle that belongs to all Peruvians.”