The Electoral Observation Mission of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Colombia notes that today’s presidential elections have taken place in an atmosphere of freedom, transparency and normalcy, which allowed citizens to renew their commitment to democracy.
OAS observers were deployed to the departments of Antioquia, Valle, Atlántico, Bolívar, Santander, Córdoba, Cauca, Quindío César, Nariño, Magdalena and Risaralda. They witnessed the installation and opening of the polling centers, the voting process itself, the closing of the polls and the vote count, as well as the transmission and publication of the results.
Based on the monitoring process today, the OAS Electoral Observation Mission highlights the following:
• The determination shown by voters who went to the polls in a clear demonstration of their commitment to democracy, particularly those who live in parts of the country that face serious security problems.
• The responsibility and civic duty of the great majority of poll examiners, who provided support so people could cast their votes.
• The presence in many polling centers of electoral witnesses representing political parties, who kept a watch on the transparency and legality of the process.
• Some incidents related to the use of indelible ink, voter substitution and the accreditation of electoral witnesses, though these have no affect on the electoral process as a whole.
• The Mission’s sorrow over developments in northern Santander province that took the lives of army personnel and left others injured in an ambush carried out by subversive groups.
• A smooth and rapid preliminary transmission of results, which even surpassed the expectations of the electoral authorities.
The OAS Mission will continue to follow the official results. In that regard, it is confident that respect and tolerance will accompany the country’s political and social actors once the final results are made public by the National Electoral Council.
The Mission believes this electoral process is evidence once again of the determination of the Colombian people to strengthen their institutions through the democratic mechanisms that the inter-American community promotes and defends.
The Mission has been able to accompany the electoral process thanks to the receptivity and collaboration on the part of state authorities, government institutions, political parties and civil society organizations, in particular the National Civil Registry, the National Electoral Council and the National Commission of Electoral Follow-Up. Our recognition to all of those entities.