With no end in sight, Fujimori demands audit from Peru’s electoral body

Lima, Jun 14 (EFE).- Peru entered a decisive week to know its new president-elect, in the midst of a political and legal battle between leftist Pedro Castillo and right-wing Keiko Fujimori, who decided to request an audit from the electoral body.

Although the vote count is 0.049 percent away from completion, the entire country’s sights are now focused on the legal challenges filed by Fujimori’s party and the authorities’ efforts to control attacks against her opponents on social media.

With 99.951 percent of the ballots counted, Castillo has secured 50.13 percent of the votes, 48,220 more than Fujimori, who has got 49.86 percent.

However, the last resort of the Fujimorismo before acknowledging their defeat has been a computer audit of the digitization of the electoral records requested from the National Office of Electoral Processes (ONPE), which may further extend the ending of the vote count in Peru.

The legal representative of the Popular Force party, Milagros Takayama, argued in the petition that a series of questions between validated records and ONPE’s system have been “detected from social networks.”

The audit was requested after most of the over 800 appeals to annul 200,000 votes due to alleged irregularities were rejected by the electoral juries for arriving after the deadline and for failing to present consistent evidence that there was fraud at the polling stations.

In this regard, the party is asking the head of the ONPE, Piero Corvetto, to clarify whether the body has a quality manual for the digitization of records, what the quality policy is for this process, and whether document control has a documented procedure.

It is also demanding to know whether the identification, protection, storage, retrieval, and availability of records are protected by an appropriate methodology, and whether records from the first and second rounds of the presidential elections have backups.

Meanwhile, a request for an injunction was filed against the National Electoral Board (JNE), the country’s highest electoral body.

The lawsuit was filed by Carlos Antonio Franco Pacheco at the Fifth Constitutional Court of Lima after the JNE refused to extend the deadline for Popular Force to file all its applications for the annulment of polling stations.

On Monday, the JNE evaluated the records of ten polling stations of the presidential runoff in five regions of the country and will announce its ruling in the coming days.

Meanwhile, civil association Transparencia, which seeks to ensure the proper functioning of institutions and democracy, on Monday strongly condemned “any attempt to move away from the democratic and institutional channel.”

“We also condemn the harassment that electoral authorities are facing for carrying out their work, as well as other citizens, due to their political positions,” it added, referring to demonstrations, sit-ins and viral campaigns during recent days.

The “Chapa tu caviar” campaign, a term that roughly translates to catching those opposed to Fujimori, has been launched on social media by supporters of the right-wing candidate after the run-off on June 6.

In view of this situation, the Attorney General’s Office has launched an investigation into alleged crimes against life, body and health- serious or minor injuries outlined in the Peruvian penal code.

The Ombudsman’s Office expressed its condemnation of “any campaign of hostility towards citizens on social media” and said that “hate speeches are unacceptable.”

It also urged the Attorney General’s Office and the National Police to “take action on the matter.”

Interior Minister Jose Elice said that “the Interior Ministry and the National Police have intensified intelligence work and also the monitoring of each of these cases.” EFE


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