LIMA, Peru – All bets are off in Peru’s presidential race after the disqualification of the moderate economist who was the chief challenger to front-runner Keiko Fujimori.
Analysts say the decision throws the April 10 contest into confusion. It will not necessarily give Fujimori the strength to win the simple majority needed to avoid a second round of voting, but does make it likely she will face a weaker challenger in an eventual runoff.
Peru’s electoral council on Wednesday blocked the candidacy of Julio Guzmán, citing technical reasons having to do with the mechanism by which his party had chosen him as its candidate.
Critics of the ruling described it as petty, and warn the disqualification undermines confidence in the country’s democratic process.
Fujimori is the daughter of jailed former President Alberto Fujimori.