Media Center

Press Release


  November 17, 2004

The Organization of American States (OAS) has formally submitted the conclusions of observations its monitors had made on elections in Nicaragua, Ecuador and Grenada, saying those elections had met democratic standards.

Santiago Murray, who led the OAS’ team that monitored Nicaragua’s November 7 elections, told the Permanent Council on Wednesday, however, that “dialogue, democracy, tolerance and peaceful settlement of disputes must be given greater emphasis.” While his oral report commended the civic-mindedness that characterized the Nicaraguan municipal elections, he expressed concern over the “unquestioned political impact” of an incident that led to the death of journalist María José Bravo.

He also spoke about reports filed with the OAS Electoral Observation Mission at various stages of the electoral process, and suggested that Nicaragua’s Supreme Electoral Council thoroughly review discrepancies that arose, in order to address concerns about the legality and integrity of election results that are being questioned or disputed by political parties.

Nicaragua’s Ambassador to the OAS, Carmen Marina Gutiérrez, thanked the OAS Observation Mission for its efforts, and updated the Council on moves by the Controller General’s Office to investigate the journalist’s death.

Meanwhile, the OAS’ team of observers to Ecuador’s municipal elections of last October 17 was led by Edgardo Reis, who detailed the success in introducing electronic voting machines on an experimental basis. The Brazilian government had contributed technical assistance.

Thanking the observers for their effort, Ecuador’s Ambassador to the OAS, Marcelo Hervas, cited OAS electoral observations missions among the organization’s most practical, useful and solid contributions to the countries of the Americas.

And, the final report on Grenada’s November 2003 general elections underscored the country’s political maturity while reiterating recommendations made in the provisional report as to how the electoral process could be improved.

Ambassador Denis Antoine, the Grenadian Permanent Representative, updated the Permanent Council members on efforts by government to implement those recommendations, noting the setback Hurricane Ivan dealt the island in September. He said improving the process is a priority. “We are asking the OAS to remain engaged with Grenada as we continue to repair our institutional infrastructure.”

Reference: E-209/04