- The Washington Times - Monday, June 26, 2000

Reviewing Peru's vote

The Organization of American States (OAS) is sending a delegation to Peru today to review the disputed election that gave President Alberto Fujimori a third term amid claims of vote fraud.

Canadian Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy and OAS Secretary-General Cesar Gaviria will lead the delegation on its three-day visit that was authorized by the OAS General Assembly at its Canadian meeting in Windsor, Ontario, on June 5.

"The General Assembly in Windsor was a major step by the OAS in taking responsibility to support the evolution and development of democracy in Peru," said Mr. Axworthy, the assembly chairman.

"Foreign ministers in the region agreed that it is our task, working collectively through the OAS, to take ownership of the democracy agenda in this hemisphere."

Mr. Gaviria added, "This is an important show of collective support for good governance in the region."

The delegation will meet with government and opposition political leaders and "look at measures to reform the electoral process, including reform of the judicial and constitutional tribunals, as well as strengthening freedom of the press," the OAS said in a statement announcing the mission to Peru.

The United States has decided to wait for the results of the OAS visit before accepting the results of the May 28 election, boycotted by Mr. Fujimori's chief opponent, Alejandro Toledo, who claimed the vote was rigged.

John Hamilton, the U.S. ambassador to Peru, said last week that Washington considers the election "profoundly defective."

"As we have said repeatedly, we continue to consider the elections profoundly defective. The electoral process did not meet international standards of transparency and democracy," he told the Associated Press.

Mr. Fujimori is due to be sworn in July 28 to a third five-year term.

Mission to Mongolia

An American Indian who served under President Bush as an assistant secretary of Interior for Indian affairs will lead a delegation from the International Republican Institute (IRI) to observe this weekend's parliamentary elections in Mongolia, where former Communists could reclaim power.

Edd Brown, a member of the Pascua Yaqui tribe, is now a professor of American-Indian studies at Washington University in St. Louis.

IRI Chairman Sen. John McCain said the election will determine whether the current ruling democratic coalition can hold on to power, despite trailing in public opinion polls.

"Mongolia is at a crossroads," the Arizona Republican said in a statement.

"The election may determine whether the Democratic Union Coalition retains power and continues to implement political and economic reforms or whether the former communist Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) will gain control of parliament."

The democratic coalition won control of parliament in the 1996 election by offering a platform called "The Contract With the Mongolian Voter."

Diplomatic traffic

Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:

Today

• Armenian President Robert Kocharian, who dedicates the Armenian Genocide Museum and memorial at 14th and G streets NW. He meets President Clinton tomorrow.

• Geraldo Magela da Cruz Quintao, on his first official visit as defense minister of Brazil.

• Alex Allan, Britain's minister for Internet issues, who talks about "e-democracy" with invited guests at the Woodrow Wilson Center.

Tomorrow

• Pavel Telicka, first deputy foreign minister of the Czech Republic. He addresses the European Institute on Czech plans to join the European Union and meets House International Relations Committee Chairman Benjamin A. Gilman.

Wednesday

• Defense Ministers Boiko Noev of Bulgaria, Arthur Eggleton of Canada, Alain Richard of France, Girts Valdis Kristovskis of Latvia, Ceslovas Stankevicius of Lithuania, Julio Castro Caldas of Portugal and Janez Jan of Slovenia. They will participate in a defense conference sponsored by the European Institute.

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