The run-up to the elections of April 9, 2000, was marked by Fujimori’s controversial decision to stand for a third term of office, despite the Peruvian Constitution only allowing for two continuous terms. His rationale was that since the Constitution was introduced during his second term, he was entitled to stand for one more. However, even with his firm control of the media (especially TV), the election campaign saw strong opposition emerging in the person of Alejandro Toledo, a serrano Perú Posible candidate representing in particular the interests of Andean cities and communities. Such was Toledo’s popularity that a smear campaign surfaced a few weeks before the voting, accusing him of shunning an illegitimate daughter and organizing a disastrous financial pyramid scheme in the early 1990s.
In the event, the results, which were unusually slow to come out, were announced amid accusations of ballot-rigging by Fujimori’s supporters, leading the US to express official concern about the electoral process and to call for a second round of elections. Even though the true figures may never be known, Fujimori technically faced a second round of voting in any case, having failed to gain the fifty percent of the vote necessary to avoid such a run-off – though it had been close, with Fujimori with approximately forty-eight percent against Toledo with around forty percent