LIMA – A special electoral court ruled on Friday that candidates Julio Guzman – currently second in the polls – and Cesar Acuña should be barred from running in Peru’s April 10 presidential election.
The two men have until Monday to file appeals with the National Elections Board, or JNE, which has the final say on these matters.
In the case of Guzman, the Lima court considered well founded the objections presented against the filing of the Todos Por El Peru party’s presidential ticket, while it ruled to exclude Acuña from the electoral process because of the handouts he gave voters during his campaign.
Guzman’s party failed to duly notify electoral authorities of adjustments made to its ticket after the initial filing, the Lima court found.
The latest opinion polls award first place to candidate Keiko Fujimori, daughter of disgraced former President Alberto Fujimori, with 33.8 percent, second place to Guzman with 18.3 percent, while Acuña trails with 7.3 percent.
Guzman reacted angrily to Friday’s announcement.
“This is a message from a corrupt system trying to hang onto power and shamelessly making use of all possible means to do so. This is a blow to democracy and a fraud foretold,” he said in a statement posted on Facebook.
He said the members of the Lima electoral court have “contradicted the decision they had already handed down” last week, when they accepted his candidacy, adding that this new ruling has been made “without introducing any new evidence or additional argument.”
Guzman announced that his party will present an appeal to the JNE and would also seek a court injunction to stop “this flagrant violation of our fundamental rights.”
The candidate also called on citizens to gather in Lima’s Plaza San Martin “immediately to demonstrate against this obvious electoral fraud.”