Peruvian leader likely to win re-election amid fraud charges

April 10, 1995|By Knight-Ridder News Service

LIMA, Peru -- President Alberto Fujimori appeared to be on his way to a landslide re-election victory yesterday, but the balloting was questioned by opposition candidates who alleged massive fraud leading up to Peru's presidential vote.

Mr. Fujimori, who imposed one-man rule three years ago but also succeeded in crushing hyperinflation and a violent rebel insurgency, won 62 percent of the vote, according to an exit poll by the CPI firm. He took 60 percent, according to a poll by the Apoyo firm.

Javier Perez de Cuellar, the former United Nations secretary-general, had 26 percent, according to the different polls. He had hoped to deny Mr. Fujimori a majority and force a runoff.

The rest of the vote was shared by 12 other presidential hopefuls.

The results raised the question of whether the opposition would challenge a Fujimori victory. Just before midnight Saturday, Mr. Perez de Cuellar called on election officials to suspend the balloting because of fraud and to set a new election.

The national election board said it had no authority to postpone elections. In the end, opposition candidates urged voters yesterday to cast ballots.

While Mr. Fujimori appeared the runaway victor, his party slipped a bit in the congressional vote. The party won either 58 or 60 seats in the 120-member Congress, according to polls. It had 44 seats in the old, 80-member Congress.

Mr. Fujimori, a 56-year-old agronomist and son of Japanese immigrants, has remained consistently popular despite dissolving Congress in 1992 and assuming sole control of the country for eight months.

During the brief, lackluster electoral campaign, Mr. Fujimori urged voters to give him another five-year term because of his record.

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