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OAS Electoral Mission Congratulates Mexico on the Success of the Largest and Most Complex Elections in its History

  July 3, 2018

The Electoral Observation Mission of the Organization of American States (OAS) deployed to Mexico to observe the federal and local elections of July 1 today presented its preliminary report, in which it congratulated the Mexican people for the success of the largest and most complex electoral process in the country's history and for the massive participation in the election of more than 18,000 posts.

At the same time, the Mission regretted and condemned the five deaths in isolated incidents of violence the day of the election. In general the Mission regretted the national context of violence in which the elections took place, despite the efforts of authorities to avoid this. According to data provided to the Mission by official sources, as of June 29, 103 political actors were killed in 25 states since the beginning of the electoral campaign. This data makes the process one of the most violent in the region in recent years.

The Mission, made up of 65 members and headed by the former President of the Dominican Republic Leonel Fernandez, congratulated President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador on his victory in the elections and welcomed the democratic spirit of the other candidates who accepted the expressed will of the voters. Moreover, the Mission would like to recognize the arduous work of the electoral authorities to meet the challenge of organizing the process and ensuring its success, the untiring work of the poll workers, trainers and electoral assistants, as well as the large number of party representatives in voting centers, an essential factor in ensuring accountability in the process.

During the pre-electoral period, the Mission witnessed that the campaign was characterized by an offensive tone on behalf of the contenders.

On the day of the election, the OAS observers visited 676 voting centers in 25 federal entities of the country, from installation and opening to the vote count and dissemination of results. At the beginning of the day, they witnessed delays in the installation of the centers and other problems in special voting locations, which led to large lines around voting centers, stopped some citizens from exercising their right to vote, and generated situations of tension.

The elections were held in an atmosphere of calm in the majority of states, where federal and local authorities contributed to guaranteeing an atmosphere of normalcy. However, the Mission learned about five people killed in Michoacán, Chiapas, Guerrero and Puebla in incidents possibly related to the election. In addition, according to data from the INE, voting was suspended in 13 locations due to the theft and/or destruction of electoral materials, and the vote count and computation suspended in two other locations due to the theft and/or destruction of electoral documentation. The Mission regrets the loss of human life and strongly condemns the violence that took place in the context of the election.

Once the vote counting was finalized, the Mission followed the progress of the PREP from the INE central offices and witnessed that the publication of preliminary results took place more slowly than planned. The Mission noted that the INE extended the closing of the PREP until 21:00, when it concluded its operation with 93.56% of the acts computed for the presidential election.

In its preliminary report, the Mission includes a specific section on findings and recommendations intended to contribute to the improvement of the Mexican electoral system. The analysis includes the key issues of the elections, including electoral organization and technology, campaign financing, electoral justice, the political participation of women, political violence and the participation of indigenous peoples, among other issues.

The Mission expresses its gratitude for the collaboration of the authorities and officials of the institutions related to electoral organization, and the Foreign Ministry and the Interior Ministry for their invaluable support.

The Mission also appreciated the financial contributions of the governments of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, South Korea, Costa Rica, Spain, the United States, France, Honduras, Israel, Italy, Peru, Serbia, and Switzerland that made possible the deployment of this Mission.

Reference: E-046/18