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OAS Observation Mission to General Elections in Paraguay Congratulates Paraguayan People and Releases Observations and Recommendations

  April 23, 2018

The Electoral Observation Mission of the Organization of American States (EOM/OAS) in Paraguay today presented its preliminary report on the April 22 general elections and congratulated the Paraguayan citizenry on its civic commitment during the elections and highlighted the calm in which the vote took place.

The report of the Mission, that was made up of 40 international observers and headed by the former President of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla, focused its observations on issues such as the composition of temporary electoral organs, electoral organization, polls- in particular exit polls-, the structure and norms of electoral justice, the participation of women in politics, inclusion and financing.

During its observation, the Mission witnessed that, at the conclusion of the vote, citizens were able to receive the preliminary results for president and governors delivered by the Superior Tribunal of Electoral Justice, and broadcast live by the media. The system was timely, fluid and transparent. The Mission compared the data published by the System for the Transmission of Preliminary Data with a sample of the polling places observed, and found a 100% match.

Regarding the polls, the Mission observed the broadcast of tendencies from exit polls, which led campaign teams to discuss these tendencies while the voters were still in the voting centers. The EOM/OAS considers that it is a bad practice in Paraguay that, despite being prohibited by law, is repeated during election after election.

On the issue of the participation of women in politics, the EOM/OAS reiterates its concern expressed in previous reports over the low level of female representation in the legislative bodies, a situation generated in part due to deficient quota legislation. Faced with this situation, the Mission recommends raising the current minimum percentage of the gender quota, and establishing a position mandate that provides greater guarantees in the equality of results. The approval of the parity project in the Senate, currently being debated in the Chamber of Deputies, opens an important possibility of improvement in the conditions of equality in elections and in access to representation for women.  

In order to contribute to the continuous improvement of the Paraguayan electoral system, the preliminary report of the Mission contains a series of preliminary observations and recommendations that could be considered for future electoral processes. Subsequently, it will submit a full report to the Permanent Council of the Organization, which will also be delivered to the Superior Tribunal of Electoral Justice and distributed to the actors in the electoral process.

The EOM/OAS was deployed in 14 of the country's 18 departments, from the opening of the voting centers to the vote count and transmission of results. Throughout the day of the election 203 polling stations were visited.

This Mission was possible thanks to the contributions of Argentina, Bolivia, France, Peru, Spain, and the United States.

Reference: E-025/18