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OAS Experts Mission Concludes Observation of Primary Elections in Bolivia

  January 28, 2019

The Mission of Electoral Experts of the Organization of American States (OAS) deployed to the Primary Elections of Candidatures of the Presidential Binomials for the 2019 General Elections in the Plurinational State of Bolivia, concluded its field work in the country.

During the week prior to the vote, the Mission met with the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, representatives of government, members of all the candidatures in the race, and with various members of civil society. In addition, the Mission held working meetings with representatives of the different areas of the Electoral Tribunal, as well as officials of the Departmenta l Court of La Paz.

On the day of the vote, the members of the Mission visited voting centers in La Paz and El Alto to observe the development of the process, from the opening of the urns to the transmission of preliminary results.

The experts of the Mission noted the low turnout of voters at voting centers and the high number of null or blank ballots. These observations were corroborated by the data disclosed by the rapid transmission system of preliminary results. In relation to this issue, the Mission observed that all the parties presented only one candidate, which did not incentivize competition. In addition, in practically all the meetings held with the opposition parties, the representatives stated that their strategy consisted of urging the electorate not to vote in these elections because they disagreed with the candidacy of the pro-government candidate.

The findings and recommendations that arise from this mission of experts seek to improve the exercise of internal democracy observed yesterday. They will also be part of an integral analysis of the process through which Bolivians will choose their next president.

Reference: E-005/19