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May 14, 1998

A team of Organization of American States (OAS) observers is heading to the Dominican Republic where they are to monitor the upcoming legislative and municipal elections set for May 16, under an agreement signed at the OAS headquarters Wednesday.

OAS Secretary General César Gaviria and Ambassador Flavio Darío Espinal of the Dominican Republic signed the documents for the immediate despatch of the monitors to Santo Domingo.

The ambassador then thanked the Organization for its part in consolidating electoral institutions in his Caribbean country. "OAS election monitoring missions have always inspired confidence in various political quarters in my country, and this enhances transparency of the electoral processes," the diplomat declared.

Since 1990, the hemispheric organization has monitored several elections as Dominicans have gone to vote. This latest mission is headed by Mr. Santiago Murray, principal specialist in the OAS Unit for the Promotion of Democracy.

The OAS and the Dominican government entered into the agreement under article 133 of the OAS Charter which establishes that: AThe Organization of American States shall enjoy in the territory of each Member such legal capacity, privileges, and immunities as are necessary for the exercise of its functions and the accomplishment of its purposes."

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