EU to send team to observe April 10 election

The European Union will send a technical team to Peru to observe the Andean nation’s general elections in April, state news agency Andina reported.

In December, Peruvian authorities invited the EU to send observers, according to the political advisor for the European block in Peru, Marianne Van Steen.

“In the exploratory mission, they determined that it was advisable, useful and feasible to send a mission for technical observation,” Van Steen said. “The European Union will send five experts who will arrive on April 2 and are being selected right now.”

Two of the observers will be stationed in Lima, while Trujillo, Ayacucho and Arequipa will all receive one observer.

“They will send daily reports and we will distribute them to the embassies and institutions in Brussels,” Van Steen said. The reports will provide the EU with a better understanding of the election process from a technical point of view.

“We won’t be here to regulate or referee. There are a lot of people that think that if there is a problem at the end, they’ll come to us to ask who won. But we would never say that. We have to be very objective and we’ll only look at the process,” she said.

Peruvians will vote on April 10 to elect a new president and 120 members of congress for a five-year term.

In the final weeks before the election, the presidential race has turned into a five-way battle with candidates vying for the top two spots in a likely run-off vote.

The second round vote will be held if no candidate receives 50 percent plus one vote, or more, on April 10. According to the most recent survey, released on Friday by the polling firm Datum, none of the candidates have more than 20 percent support.

Former president Alejandro Toledo maintains a slight lead with 19.4 percent, followed by nationalist candidate Ollanta Humala (17.6 percent), ex-prime minister Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (17.4 percent), Congresswoman Keiko Fujimori (16.1 percent) and Lima’s former mayor, Luis Castañeda (15.5 percent).

In the Ipsos Apoyo poll for Channel 4 TV, however, Humala is ahead with 21%, followed closely by Toledo with 20% and Keiko Fujimori with 19%, Kuczynski with 15% and Castañeda with 14%.

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