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OAS Electoral Observation Mission highlights strength of the Costa Rican electoral system

  February 5, 2018

The Organization of American States Electoral Observation Mission (OAS/EOM) for the national elections in Costa Rica presented today its preliminary report on Sunday’s elections. The report highlights the strength of the Costa Rican electoral system and the respectful coexistence and spirit of collaboration that predominated among the different actors of the electoral process on election day.

In the report, the Mission, which was led by former Colombian President Andrés Pastrana, addresses the high level of professionalism and technical expertise with which the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) organized these elections, and highlights a series of best practices that could serve as a reference for other countries in the region. Included among these are the TSE’s initiatives to facilitate the vote for seniors and people with disabilities, the design of voting booths and the use of technology to generate new tools that provide citizens with information about the electoral process.

The Mission was comprised of 15 observers and experts who carried out a substantive analysis of electoral organization and technology, campaign financing, electoral justice and gender. On the day of the election, the experts visited polling stations in San José, Alajuela, Cartago and Heredia. In addition, the Mission observed the implementation of the vote abroad at the Costa Rican consulate in Washington, DC in the United States.

In its report, the EOM acknowledges the highly competitive nature of the elections and the successful staging of numerous debates in the media. It also calls for resuming discussion of the political-electoral financing system and highlights the implementation of horizontal gender parity for the first time in these elections.

The Mission extends its thanks to the Costa Rican Government for the invitation to observe these elections, as well as the openness and cooperation of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal and the people of Costa Rica. It also recognizes the financial contributions from the governments of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, France, Korea, Peru and the United States. The Mission advises that its presence in the second round of the presidential elections will depend on the ability to mobilize additional financial resources.

Reference: E-003/18