LIMA, Jan 29, 2020, ANDINA. Peru’s extraordinary parliamentary elections have been conducted correctly and credibly. Besides, sufficient measures were taken to guarantee their transparency, European Union Election Observation Mission (EUEOM) has reported in its preliminary statement on last Sunday elections, ANDINA reported.
Leopoldo Lopez, the EUEOM chief observer, remarked that the campaign was peaceful and competitive. In addition, candidates were able to run for office freely, without restrictions, and in equal conditions.
He noted that the main themes of candidates’ campaigns were fight against corruption, abolition of parliamentary immunity, and pending political reforms.
Moreover, he said, the debates organized by the National Election Board (JNE) enabled parties to communicate their proposals in equal conditions, although the chosen format did not let candidates interact with each other.
“Electoral bodies conducted the process in a correct and credible manner, despite the short time available for preparation. The voting and counting procedures were widely respected and had sufficient measures to guarantee their transparency,” Lopez said in a press conference.
Exclusions and social media
The EU representative commented that the registration requirements of candidates were extremely rigorous, which resulted in a high number of exclusions: 722, thus accounting for 25% of the submitted applications.
Lopez mentioned that the deadlines for the submission of complaints about exclusions and for the submission of supporting documents, were not realistic.
Furthermore, he affirmed the legal framework has sufficient guarantees in place to celebrate democratic elections, and recalled that JNE issued —in a timely manner— resolutions that clarified the laws and regulations in force for these elections, including those related to the re-election of the dissolved Congress members.
The chief observer warned that the lack of legal framework about political campaigns on social media —that requires advertisers to register on Facebook— has limited the transparency of parties’ campaign expenses.
“The election silence was not respected on social network platforms,” he added.
As is known, the Executive Branch constitutionally dissolved Congress on September 30, 2019, and called for parliamentary elections to be held on January 26, 2020.
The new 130 legislators will serve the remaining period of the 2016-2021 legislative tenure, following the dissolution of Congress.