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OAS Electoral Observation Mission Greets the Colombian People After the Second Round of Presidential Elections

  June 21, 2022

The Electoral Observation Mission (EOM) of the Organization of American States (OAS) for the presidential elections in Colombia, headed by former Paraguayan Foreign Minister Eladio Loizaga, greets the Colombian people, who went to the polls last Sunday to express their democratic will.

The Mission welcomes the increase in voter turnout compared to the first round, as well as for the last two presidential elections. It also congratulates the country's electoral authorities, who once again carried out their work in a complex situation marked by political polarization.

The Mission welcomes the peaceful conduct of the elections in most of the country. However, it regrets the assassination of a soldier in Caquetá and of two human rights defenders who were part of the Historical Pact campaign in the department of Cauca. The Mission reiterates that this type of violent action is incompatible with the principles of democracy and with the civic and peaceful spirit demonstrated by the Colombian people on Sunday.

For this presidential runoff, the Mission had 87 members of 27 different nationalities, who began arriving in the country in a staggered manner as of June 10. The experts analyzed and followed up on key aspects of the process such as electoral organization and voting abroad, electoral technology and electoral justice.

On election day, the Mission was present in Bogota and 25 departments of the country, as well as in two cities abroad, Madrid and Washington, DC. The observers visited 428 voting centers and 1,244 polling stations, and monitored the day from the opening of the polls to the counting and transmission of results.

The Mission's observers reported that the polling stations where they were present opened on time and operated normally, and that the officials had the necessary materials to carry out their work. The Mission highlights the high participation of women, both as voting jurors and as witnesses, in the centers visited. It also highlights the work of international and national observers.

In accordance with Colombian legislation, the polling stations closed promptly at 4:00 p.m. The Mission emphasizes that the precount functioned in an agile and uninterrupted manner thanks, in part, to the adjustments made after the legislative elections. The data released by the Registrar's Office, which coincided with the sample survey carried out by the Mission, reflected the triumph of the binomial composed of Gustavo Petro and Francia Márquez. The Mission congratulates the winners, while highlighting the early recognition of the results made by the candidate Rodolfo Hernandez. It also appreciates that President Iván Duque promptly congratulated the winner and communicated with him to initiate the transition.

With the interest of continuing to support the strengthening of Colombian democracy and based on a detailed analysis of the legislation in force, the information gathered and the direct observation, the Mission presents its preliminary findings and recommendations in the areas of voting abroad, organization, technology, and electoral justice. These observations complement those made in the preliminary reports issued after the legislative elections and the first round of the presidential election and will be expanded upon in the final report. The Mission hopes that all the observation work carried out and the findings contained in the different reports will be of great use for the debate that must resume on a new electoral code.

The Mission thanks the Colombian institutions, including the Presidency, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Defense, the National Electoral Council, the National Civil Registry, political groups, candidates, academic and civil society organizations, and other actors with whom it met, for their willingness to share information and their views on the electoral process observed. It also thanks the governments of Brazil, Canada, Korea, Spain, the United States, France, Italy, Peru, Sweden, and the United States for financial contributions that made this Mission possible.

Reference: E-034/22