Carter predicts fair presidential election in Peru
LIMA, Peru (CNN) -- Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter predicted Saturday that presidential and legislative elections in Peru on Sunday will be "completely honest, fair and transparent."
"I think everybody in Peru is determined to have as perfect an election for the world to see, and for the Peruvians to enjoy, as is possible. So we feel very confident about it," Carter told CNN.
Carter leads a delegation of 35 observers from the Carter Center and the National Democratic Institute.
Polls show Alejandro Toledo leading his two main rivals, former congresswoman Lourdes Flores and former President Alan Garcia.
It's expected that Toledo will not get a majority of the votes and will face a runoff 30 days after election returns are final.
Carter and his team of observers will be stationed at polling sites in nine of Peru's 25 electoral districts. A large voter turnout is expected since voting is mandatory in Peru. Those who don't vote are fined.
Sunday's election stands in stark contrast to the situation last year in Peru, when -- because of alleged irregularities in the main election -- Carter and other international observers refused to monitor a runoff election that gave President Alberto Fujimori a disputed third five-year term.
In November 2000, Fujimori, 62, traveled to Japan -- his ancestral homeland -- and remained there. He later resigned the presidency in the wake of a corruption scandal involving his former spy chief, Vladimiro Montesinos.
Valentin Paniagua was sworn in as president later that month and is expected to serve until July 28, when the winner of Sunday's elections will take office.
But Carter said Fujimori's resignation may have a silver lining.
"He subverted completely the economic and political system of Peru," Carter said. "The aftermath of that has been a glorious potential victory, and if there is a victory Sunday with a good election, which I predict, then I think it will send a wonderful signal not only throughout Peru but throughout this hemisphere that democracy is here to stay. "
Former Peru military chief arrested for taking drug payoffs
The Carter Center
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