Peru Election Board Asked to Bar Presidential Race Runner-Up

  • Electoral board receives two requests to exclude Kuczynski
  • Board already considering barring front-runner Keiko Fujimori

Peru’s presidential race is at risk of unravelling as a fourth candidate is accused of campaign irregularities with just over two weeks before the vote.

The Lima Centro 1 electoral board received two requests to disqualify Pedro Pablo Kuczynski after his 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.

Two candidates have already been barred from the April 10 vote and the electoral body is now considering disqualifying front-runner Keiko Fujimori for attending a prize-giving ceremony in Lima last month. A decision should be made in her case on Wednesday. Kuczynski and Fujimori have about half of voter support between them, according to recent polls.

Kuczynski, a former finance minister, has denied the allegations. Speaking to reporters in Lima on Monday, Kuczynski said a parliamentary candidate from his party offered beer and liquor at the Jan. 30 event, but he wasn’t involved.

Removing Kuczynski and Fujimori would leave voters with 14 candidates to choose from, 10 of which have 1 percent or less support, according to the polls.

The electoral board has already this month excluded two of Fujimori’s rivals, Julio Guzman and Cesar Acuna; Acuna for donating money during his campaign.

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