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OAS General Secretariat to Send Mission of Electoral Accompaniment and Observation to the General Elections in Paraguay

  August 22, 2012

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, today announced the dispatch of a mission to Paraguay to accompany and observe the electoral process in the country that will conclude with the general elections of April 21, 2013.

At a special meeting of the OAS Permanent Council convened to discuss the situation in Paraguay, Secretary General Insulza recalled that this was his proposal to the Council on July 10, after his visit to Paraguay, and reported that this week he received from the Paraguayan government a resolution of the Superior Court of Electoral Justice of Paraguay requesting the dispatch of a mission of accompaniment and observation. "This is a resolution that is signed by all members of the electoral authority of Paraguay and to which we will respond favorably, as has been discussed many times here," said the head of the OAS, indicating that this mission could be headed by a very senior politician, possibly a former president of the region.

The head of the hemispheric organization said that next week his Chief of Staff, Ambassador Hugo de Zela, will travel to Paraguay, along with the OAS Secretary for Political Affairs, Kevin Casas-Zamora, to discuss with the government of Paraguay the details of the installation of the mission of accompaniment and electoral observation, and to make contact with key political and social actors in the South American country. Before arriving in Asuncion, both diplomats will travel to Lima, Peru, for talks with Peruvian Foreign Minister Rafael Roncagliolo, and with Salomon Lerner, who heads the High Level Group of Unasur on the case of Paraguay.

In his address to the Council, Secretary General Insulza presented an update of the situation in Paraguay, in which he stressed that "there remains a rupture" between the current government and the forces supporting ousted President Fernando Lugo. He noted that, "however, this has not been demonstrated in any way, in any violence in any form, or confrontations of any kind," adding that both President Lugo and his followers, "have not been subject to political persecution or acts that violate their personal safety."

Regarding the electoral stage that is beginning, that will culminate in the general elections of April 2013, the OAS Secretary General said that "political forces are operating quite normally" and that there is "a broad debate, among all the parties" in the Paraguayan media, "with respect to the next election, the candidacies and who is going to stand."

Insulza recalled that the mission to accompany the electoral process should facilitate the national political dialogue and report regularly to the Permanent Council on the development of its work. It should also be a point of attention, that there is respect for the guarantees so that everyone can compete on equal terms.

On the legal dispute caused by the conditions in which the "impeachment" that ousted President Lugo was carried out, Secretary General Insulza reported that the OAS is in contact with the lawyer of the former president, Emilio Camacho, who believes that the Supreme Court of Justice "could demand a new impeachment, overriding the one that already took place" on June 23, which would require the repetition of the process. He explained that in the event that the court maintains its position, endorsing the process that led to the ouster of President Lugo, the former President's defense would prepare "the documentation to take the case to international bodies such as the OAS and/or the Inter- American Commission on Human Rights.”

During the session of the Permanent Council, representatives of the Member States presented their views on the situation in Paraguay and debated proposals on the subject. The representatives of Paraguay, Mexico, Peru, the United States, Dominica, Belize, Costa Rica, Honduras, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada, Guatemala, El Salvador, Brazil, Guyana, Argentina, Venezuela, Panama, Grenada, the Dominican Republic, Barbados, Colombia, Bolivia, Jamaica, The Bahamas, Uruguay, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Chile all participated in the discussion.

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

The full video of the event is available here. The reel of images will be available here.

The audio of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-287/12