Organization of American States

Press Release

December 23, 1999


The Organization of American States (OAS) has dispatched a team to monitor the process that culminates in run-off elections in Guatemala this Sunday, December 26, when Guatemalans choose a President and a Vice President.

Additional members began arriving in Guatemala on December 15 to join the group that had remained there monitoring developments since the first round of elections last November 7.

From its base in Guatemala City, the 75-member OAS Mission will operate through seven regional centers from which all 22 departments of the country will be covered. Apart from the balloting itself, the OAS monitors will also be observing the installation of voting stations, the opening and closing of balloting, vote tallying and the movement of election material.

The OAS election monitors are in Guatemala at the invitation of that country’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal, with support from the government. The team remains on the ground until the President and Vice President are sworn in.

Electoral observation missions are financed through voluntary contributions from member and observer states. The current mission, which is headed by Edgardo Reis, Principal Specialist in the OAS Unit for the Promotion of Democracy, is being funded through a substantial contribution from the United States government, with support added from the Japanese government.

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