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May 19, 1998

Peru on Monday invited the Washington-based Organization of American States (OAS) to observe municipal elections it has scheduled for October 11 this year.

The Peruvian request was conveyed in a letter from the permanent representative at the OAS, Ambassador Beatriz Ramacciotti, to Secretary General CÚsar Gaviria, formally inviting the organization and seeking "the necessary assistance through the OAS Unit for the Promotion of Democracy in organizing and despatching a mission."

The hemispheric OAS has been observing elections held in Peru over the last few years, including the November 1992 elections for the Constituent Congress to which it sent 228 monitors; the January 1993 municipal elections for which a 70 member mission was sent; and the October 1993 constitutional reform referendum for which 30 of its observers were present.

Another 70 OAS observers went to Peru for the April 9, 1995 general elections in which President Alberto Fujimori was re-elected and 120 representatives elected to the unicameral Congress.

Missions are conducted exclusively by multi-disciplinary international civilian observer groups that include experts on electoral affairs, law, political sciences, education, information sciences, statistics, communications, logistics, among other disciplines. Observers are despatched throughout a country in most cases, to provide maximum election coverage of urban and rural communities.

Through its electoral observation missions, the OAS has helped promote and consolidate democracy in member countries. Missions are sent upon the express request of governments. The OAS monitored 37 elections in 15 countries of the hemisphere between 1989 and December 1997.

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