Media Center

Press Release


  May 7, 2003

The impact of electronic voting on transparency, efficiency and effectiveness in Paraguay’s April 27 presidential elections came in for praise from the Organization of American States’ (OAS) Permanent Council.

In his preliminary report Santiago Murray, Chief of the OAS Technical Election Monitoring Mission, emphasized that “Paraguay’s Tribunal of Electoral Justice has once again demonstrated its ability to make good on the commitment to modernize the system while ensuring transparency and respect for the popular will.”

Murray told the OAS member state delegations that the Mission followed the national debate over the incorporation of electronic voting, and lauded the new technology. “The vote count and tallying procedures were expeditious, and people were thus able to know the election results thus within a few hours after voting ended.”

The 14-member OAS Observation Mission included seven managers of information departments of electoral agencies in Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Panama and Peru. "This represented a significant value-added for the group selected by the Mission that also included professionals with recognized expertise in election technology and information,” according to Murray.

Noting the cordial atmosphere and the spirit of cooperation the Superior Tribunal of Electoral Justice fostered, the OAS Mission Chief underscored the important role played by the voters themselves—those using the new technology as well as those who used the manual system.

Ambassador Luis Enrique Chase Plate, Paraguay’s Permanent Representative to the OAS, thanked the OAS for sending the Mission. He lauded the Mission for its “dynamic and effective effort that confirmed the elections in Paraguay were free and fair.”

He also thanked the Brazilian authorities for facilitating the electronic voting process, noting Paraguay’s democratic process has been very successful. “The Paraguayan people have demonstrated maturity as a nation, commitment to the democratic system, and their faith in democracy as the best form of government.”

Reference: E-104/03