(OAS, 9.Oct.2020) — The Electoral Observation Mission (EOM) of the Organization of American States (OAS) will begin to arrive in La Paz tomorrow to begin the tasks of observation in the field ahead of the 18 October 2020 election in which the president, vice president, senators and deputies will be elected. The arrival of the Mission will be staggered over the next few days.
The Mission, made up of 40 experts and observers from 12 nationalities, is headed by the former Foreign Minister of Costa Rica Manuel González who, due to the limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, will be present at the meetings virtually. The Secretary for Strengthening Democracy of the OAS, Francisco Guerrero, leads the Mission on the ground.
By virtue of the global health context, the Mission will include the face-to-face and remote participation of experts in electoral organization and technology, political-electoral financing, political participation of women, electoral justice, media and social networks, voting abroad, and political participation of indigenous peoples, who will also follow up on the recommendations issued in December 2019. Likewise, it will deploy observers in the cities of La Paz, El Alto, Santa Cruz and Cochabamba, and in Argentina, Spain and the United States to follow up on the vote abroad.
During their stay in Bolivia, the members of the Mission will meet with electoral authorities, government officials, and civil society actors, as well as representatives of all political forces, with the same spirit of openness and professionalism that has characterized the Electoral Observation Missions that, in the case of Bolivia, have been carried out since 1966. This will be the nineteenth time that the OAS has deployed a Mission in the country.
The Mission recognizes the enormous challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and salutes the democratic conviction of the Bolivian people who, by going to the polls, will make their voice heard. Likewise, it hopes that all the actors involved behave responsibly in this historic opportunity to strengthen democracy.
After the elections, the Mission will present a preliminary report with its observations and recommendations in order to contribute to the strengthening of electoral processes in Bolivia.
The deployment of this Mission is possible thanks to financial contributions from Brazil, Canada, Spain, the United States, France, Italy, Morocco, Peru, the United Kingdom, and the Dominican Republic.