Peru Presidential Runner-Up Kuczynski May Be Barred From Race

  • Pedro Pablo Kuczynski is running second in opinion polls
  • Front-runner Fujimori cleared of rule violations last week

A Peruvian electoral body began proceedings to bar Pedro Pablo Kuczynski from the presidential race for alleged vote-buying, a week after it cleared the front-runner of similar allegations.

The Lima Centro 1 electoral board said it sees grounds for starting exclusion proceedings after Kuczynski’s Peruanos por el Kambio party allegedly offered cases of beer to voters at an event in central Peru. Candidates aren’t allowed to offer cash, food or goods during their campaigns, under a law that took effect in January.

The board said it had taken into account a report from the national electoral board, a higher, independent body, that said there was no evidence Kuczynski personally made the offer of free beer. The former finance minister is running second in voter opinion polls before the April 10 election and has denied the allegations.

The Lima board cleared front-runner Keiko Fujimori last week of breaking the same law at a prize-giving ceremony in Lima last month. The national board is expected to vote as early as Thursday whether to uphold the lower board’s decision after it was appealed. Kuczynski and Fujimori have about half of voter support between them, according to recent polls.

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