OAS: Local elections strengthen democracy in Bolivia

Press Realease

April 5, 2010

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, today sent his warm regards to the Bolivian people following the departmental and municipal elections held Sunday in a climate of peace and citizen participation.

“The elections of this past Sunday, April 4, represent a further step in the Bolivian democratic process that began with the approval of the country’s new Fundamental Charter. The Bolivian people’s effort to express their decision at the polls on an exemplary day is remarkable. As Secretary General of the OAS, I hope that dialogue will be the way to reach agreements in this new stage of application of individual will,” the Secretary General said.

In general, election day passed in a peaceful way. In some specific cases, there were denunciations of political proselytism and display of electoral propaganda on the day of the elections in some areas. All information collected by the Electoral Observation Mission (EOM) of the OAS through its observers will be referred to the National Electoral Court, the entity charged with processing such claims.

Furthermore, the EOM OAS is aware of a specific situation in Pando, where an error was pointed out in the counting involving 13 electoral records, an instance about which the National Electoral Court also is aware. The Mission hopes that said entity and the respective Departmental Electoral Court are able to resolve the issue promptly since as a result of this the vote counting in that area has been paralyzed.

The EOM OAS notes that despite the complexity of the voting system in these departmental and municipal elections, there was no confusion among Bolivians at the time of voting, which once again confirms to the OAS the adequate functioning of the biometric registry. It called attention, nevertheless, to the lack of indelible ink used to mark voters, a requirement by law for the elections.

As the sole international entity that observed Sunday’s elections, the EOM OAS affirms that election day was an example of democratic and civic behavior, a reflection of the high level of political maturity in the country. This will also be reflected in the democratic legitimacy of the results.

The EOM OAS will continue its work of observation until the announcement of the definitive results by the National Electoral Court. As such, the political actors are asked to behave peacefully and with respect until the electoral entity provides a final recount of the votes.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at www.oas.org.

Sourc: OAS

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