Peru’s election authority rejects candidacy of ex-Housing Minister for Magdalena mayor

Peru’s Special Election Board (JEE) for West Lima has rejected the candidacy for mayor of Magdalena by Francis Allison, the former Housing minister who was forced to resign in a scandal last year, daily El Comercio reported.

JEE said Allison did not comply with residency requirements, which requires him to live in the district for at least two years since July 5.

“We are continuing in the race,” reported Allison as saying. “We believe the election board has been lead to an error or that its members made a mistake when they say I contradict myself.”

Allison said he believes the National Election Board (JNE) will reverse the JEE’s decision.

“Fifty-six percent of Magdalena, in all of the polls, have affirmed that they want me to be their mayor,” he said.

Allison has been the mayor of Magdalena three times since 2000. In June 2009 he was appointed minister of Housing and Construction by President Alan Garcia in a cabinet shuffle. However by the end of September he was forced to resign because he received payments from Business Track, BTR. The company is allegedly involved in illegal wire tapping that is being investigated by Congress and the judiciary and which is connected to the petroleum concessions scandal, or Petrogate, that forced a major cabinet shuffle last year.

Allison, and his wife, Claudia Robbiano, were taken into custody in Miami last November when they were found carrying $50,000 in cash between them as they boarded a flight to Panama and Peru. They had declared that they only had $20,000 in cash. Allison said the mistake was an innocent confusion and that he and his wife had passed the police polygraph test.

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