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Basic information on the elections to be held during the 45th OAS General Assembly

  June 16, 2015

The elections will be held today, Tuesday June 16, during the fourth plenary session (see agenda).

• The elections are held by secret ballot except when held by acclamation.

• In the elections for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), the Inter-American Juridical Committee (IAJC), the Justice Studies Center of the Americas (CEJA), the Administrative Tribunal of the OAS and the Board of External Auditors, to be elected a candidate must obtain a number of votes equal to the majority of member states. Currently, with 35 member states, the majority is set at 18.

• In the elections for the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, to be elected, a candidate will need to obtain a number of votes equal to the majority of States party to the American Convention on Human Rights. There are currently 23 States parties, therefore the majority is set at 12.

• In cases when one person needs to be elected and no candidate obtains the necessary votes, a second and, if necessary, third ballot will take place, which will include only the two candidates that received the largest number of votes.

• If after the third ballot no candidate obtains the required majority, the election will be suspended for the period of time determined by the Assembly. When the election is resumed, two additional ballots can be taken. If neither of the two candidates is elected, the election process will restart in the term stipulated by the Assembly.

• When two or more members need to be elected for positions in the same entity, each state will vote for the number of vacancies available (in this case 4 to the Commission, 4 for the Court, 2 to the IAJC and 2 for CEJA) . The candidates that will be declared elected are those who obtain the required number of votes for each entity (18 votes for IACHR, IAJC and CEJA, and 12 for the Court).

• If the number of candidates obtaining the required votes to be elected is less than the number of vacancies, additional ballots shall be held. In these successive ballots the voting will be limited to the candidates who obtained the most votes in the previous votes, up to a maximum equivalent to twice the number of posts remaining to be filled.

• In case of a tie, a new vote will be held only between the candidates who obtained the same number of votes.

• If there are candidates for a vacancy, elections are postponed so that they are made by the Permanent Council at a later date.

• After voting has ended any representative may request the floor to briefly explain his vote, except in the case of secret ballots.

• The members of the IACHR are elected for a term of four years and may be reelected only once. Their terms of office shall begin on January 1 following the year in which they were elected.

• Members of the Inter-American Court are elected for a term of six years and may be reelected only once. Their term will begin on the first of January following the member's election.

• Articles 73-76 of the rules of the General Assembly explain the procedures for the elections.

• The names of the candidates and the vacancies to be filled during the 45th General Assembly are available here.

Reference: S-016/15