Media Center

Press Release


  April 11, 2005

The 34 members of the Organization of American States (OAS) will meet again on May 2 to continue the process of electing a new Secretary General for the hemispheric organization, after five rounds of voting today repeatedly produced a tie between the two candidates—Chile’s Interior Minister José Miguel Insulza, and Mexico’s Foreign Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez.

Insulza and Derbez emerged with 17 votes each during five rounds of voting that took place at OAS headquarters in Washington, where the foreign ministers and other heads of delegation met to vote.

The thirtieth special session of the OAS General Assembly, chaired by Panama’s First Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs Samuel Lewis Navarro, announced the new election date of May 2 after the heads of delegation met and so decided following the repeated vote tie. Under Article 74 of the General Assembly rules of procedure, if no candidate is elected after two additional rounds of voting—that were held this afternoon—the election would resume as determined by the delegations.

Lewis Navarro concluded the session after thanking the delegations for placing confidence in him and in his country to preside over the meeting. He also thanked everyone for actively participating.

OAS Acting Secretary General Luigi Einaudi, meanwhile, thanked the foreign ministers and the heads of delegation for their participation and underscored the candidates’ qualifications and participation of the countries in a process he described as “reflecting clearly the organization’s potential and its role in the quest for hemispheric consensus.” He said today’s process attested to the vibrant democracy that is at work in the hemisphere, and expressed his pride in the free and open process that took place.

Reference: E-066/05