LIMA – The European Union’s Election Observation Mission for the Peruvian elections on April 10 says the fact that candidates can be bumped from the ballot just days before the vote is “problematic.”
The head of the mission, Renate Weber, told a press conference in Lima that voting cards were being printed Tuesday, whereas electoral law allows candidates to be excluded up to 10 days before voters go to the polls.
“We think it problematic because it affects both candidates and citizens, particularly in a country where voting is obligatory. Not all voters can be duly informed and perhaps many don’t realize until the day of the election that their favorite candidate is not on the list,” she said.
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.
Weber, a Romanian member of the European Parliament, said the electoral mission will observe with special attention the political atmosphere and legal framework of the elections, particularly since the Peruvian Congress did not adopt the electoral reforms recommended by the EU Election Observation Mission during the 2011 polling.
“The EU is very interested in relations with Peru, which are closer than ever, and also in the democratic and political stability and the legal security of the country,” she said.