Media Center

Press Release

OAS Electoral Experts Mission Observed Normalcy in Judicial Elections in Bolivia

  December 5, 2017

This Monday in La Paz, the Electoral Experts Mission of the Organization of American States (OAS) delivered its preliminary report on the judicial elections held in Bolivia on December 3, in which the Mission underscored how “the popular will was expressed freely and peacefully” on election day.

The Mission, headed by former Ecuadoran Foreign Minister Guillaume Long, and comprised of nine experts in areas related to electoral organization and technology, gender equity, the judiciary, and electoral justice, was able to observe how the elections unfolded without incident.

During the reading of the report, the Mission also commended the electoral authorities and the Bolivian government on the efforts they had made to improve the electoral process and to base the pre-selection of candidates more rigorously on merit.

In comparison with the 2011 elections, the Mission noted progress with respect to the design of the two ballots used during the election, which made it easier for citizens to vote. With regard to campaigning, the Mission emphasized that the 2017 regulation is less restrictive, which enabled candidates to better canvass. The Mission likewise observed that on election day, Bolivians received information on the election results in a timely manner and as planned by the election authority.

In an effort to help the Bolivian electoral system continue to improve, the Mission presents a series of preliminary recommendations:

1. Increase the budget allocated to programs and strategies designed to provide information about the candidates and seats up for election in order to have more time and a broader scope, coverage, and resources to ensure equity in the race and promote informed voting by the public.

2. Implement actions to ensure that all information about the pre-selection process may be consulted online up until the electoral process concludes. An effort of this kind would give the public the ability to study their options and cast informed votes.

3. Include a system for the speedy and safe transmission of results in electoral legislation so that it can be continuously enhanced. The Mission believes this to be a valuable tool that offers guarantees of transparency.

In the coming months, the Mission will present a report to the OAS Permanent Council that will include a gender approach in light of the results of this election and will delve deeper into its preliminary recommendations and findings.

The Mission is grateful for the cooperation received from the Plurinational Electoral Body and Plurinational Legislative Assembly, which made it possible for its experts to access all of the information necessary to prepare this report. It further extends its thanks to the government authorities, political actors, candidates, civil society representatives, and public for their support.

The Mission also wishes to thank Argentina, China, Honduras, Mexico, Paraguay, Serbia, and South Korea, whose contributions made its work in Bolivia possible.

Reference: E-088/17