U.S. Says Fujimori's Win in Peru Is Invalid

Peru's President Alberto Fujimori Is Easily Winning The Presidential Runoff, But There Is A High Percentage Of Spoiled Ballots

Reuters -- 29 May 2000

by Jim Wolf

WASHINGTON - The United States Monday rejected as illegitimate the election victory of Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori and called the actions of his ``regime'' a threat to regional democracy.

``In view of the refusal of the government of Peru to accommodate international observers' complaints regarding lack of time to validate the newly installed vote-counting system, we do not see the election as being valid,'' a State Department spokeswoman said.

``No president emerging from such a flawed process can claim legitimacy,'' added the spokeswoman who asked not to be named. ''The manner in which the Fujimori regime handled this problem is a serious threat to the inter-American system and its commitment to Democracy.''

Fujimori swept to victory Sunday against Alejandro Toledo who had urged his supporters to abstain or spoil their ballots in protest because of what he called Fujimori's plans to rig the vote.

Friday, President Clinton said he would review relations with Peru unless the vote was postponed to clear up concerns over glitches in electoral computers and state handouts to the poor aimed at boosting Fujimori's campaign.

``I deeply regret the decision by the Peruvian electoral authorities to proceed with the elections this coming Sunday in spite of the well-documented concerns of the OAS observer mission,'' Clinton said Friday. The Organization of American States refused to conduct on-the-ground monitoring of Sunday's election, saying it would be ``far from free and fair.''