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Press Release


  March 3, 2005

A pilot project to introduce electronic voting in Panama is to be based on Brazilian technical assistance, under an agreement the Organization of American States has signed with the government of Brazil.

Signed today by Alternate Representative of Brazil to the OAS José Luiz Machado e Costa and OAS Acting Secretary General Luigi Einaudi, this is the fourth agreement the Brazilian government has signed to provide OAS member countries with technical assistance to implement electronic voting. This latest agreement stems from a request Panama’s Electoral Tribunal had sent to the OAS.

Saying his government was extremely happy to provide the assistance, Machado e Costa noted the vast experience Brazil has developed, through its Supreme Electoral Tribunal, in the field of electronic voting. He said during the brief signing ceremony that the agreement reflects the Brazilian government’s commitment as well as the great importance it attaches to the promotion and consolidation of democracy in the Americas.

Einaudi, meanwhile, noted that the Organization values the relationship between its Office for the Promotion of Democracy and the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Brazil. Referring to his first-hand experience in witnessing the use of Brazilian electronic balloting machines in a presidential election in Paraguay, the Acting Secretary General described the Brazilian-made machines as “a marvel of modern technology.”

In commending Brazil, Einaudi also noted that the country has become an axis for horizontal cooperation in the field of elections.

Under the agreement, Brazilian electronic balloting machines will be used in a possible referendum in Panama this year, and in general elections there in 2009. The agreement also provides for the initial use of 20 electronic balloting machines to conduct a public education program in conjunction with schools, universities, political parties, business groups, labor unions, service clubs and civil society organizations.

Reference: E-038/05