LIMA – Peru’s National Elections Board, or JNE, on Monday rejected a pair of special appeals from presidential candidates Julio Guzman and Cesar Acuña against a decision barring them from the April 10 presidential 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 on Sunday at which Acuña’s Alliance for Progress in Peru and Guzman’s All for Peru parties made their arguments before the JNE.
After meeting on Sunday with Renate Weber, the head of the electoral observation mission sent to Peru by the European Union, Guzman said that “it would be the first time that a presidential candidate is dropped (from the ballot) in Peru for administrative reasons.”
The deputy industry minister in President Ollanta Humala’s administration announced Sunday that if the request was rejected by the JNE the option would remain to seek a court injunction or resort to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
Last Friday, Humala’s Peruvian Nationalist Party withdrew from the April 10 elections, asking electoral authorities to remove from the ballot the names of all PNP candidates for national office.
A survey published on Sunday after the exclusion of Guzman and Acuña said that Keiko Fujimori, daughter of disgraced former President Alberto Fujimori, is still in first place among voters, with 32 percent, although now she is followed by former Economy Minister Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, with 14 percent.
Before the survey, Guzman was in second place with 18 percent and Acuña had 6 percent support among voters.