Fujimori says will recognize Peru vote count

Lima (AFP) –


Peru presidential election candidate Keiko Fujimori -- who had alleged fraud in the vote count -- said Monday she would accept the result as officials prepared to announce the winner after reviewing complaints.

The country's elections jury said it would soon announce the winner of the June 6 presidential elections.

According to the count, leftist rural school teacher Pedro Castillo had received 50.12 percent of the ballots cast more than a month ago -- some 44,000 more than his rightwing rival Fujimori.

Fujimori, who faces an imminent corruption trial unless she becomes president, challenged thousands of votes before the elections jury or JNE.

But she told a press conference Monday that she would accept the results "because it is required by the law and the constitution that I have sworn to defend."

Fujimori had previously hinted she could reject the jury's decision. Her backers had called for new elections to be held, and she had urged President Francisco Sagasti to seek an international audit of the vote.

The JNE tweeted on Monday that it had finalized the review and would now prepare for the proclamation.

"The JNE will proceed to the immediate organization of the ceremony" to announce the result, it added.

The body did not give an exact date for the ceremony, but an official of the jury had earlier said it would likely happen on Tuesday.

The new president is due to be sworn in on July 28, the day Sagasti's interim term comes to an end.

Peruvians voted for their fifth president in three years after a series of crises and corruption scandals saw three different leaders in office in a single week last November.

Seven of the country's last 10 leaders have either been convicted or are under investigation for graft.

Prosecutors have said they would seek a 30-year jail term for Fujimori on charges of taking money from scandal-tainted Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht to fund failed presidential bids in 2011 and 2016.

Under Peruvian law, the case against Fujimori will be suspended if she became president until after her term.

Hundreds of supporters of both candidates in the polarizing election have set up camp in the Peruvian capital Lime to "defend" their votes.

The JNE originally said it would announce the new government on July 15, but that was delayed by the resignation of one of the tribunal's four judges.

The United States, European Union and Organization of American States have said the election was free and fair.