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The EU mission in Bolivia also detects irregularities in the elections of October 20

December 21, 2019
El expresidente boliviano Evo Morales

The former Bolivian president Evo Morales – REUTERS / LUIS CORTES


The final report of the Technical Mission of Electoral Experts of the EU (MEE-EU) on the elections of October 20 in Bolivia includes “numerous errors and irregularities” in the recount process, which it considers “chaotic”, which supports the criticisms of the audit of the Organization of American States (OAS, which, coupled with the pressure of the Police and Army, led to the resignation of President Evo Morales.

The EU mission in Bolivia also detects irregularities in the elections of October 20
The EU mission in Bolivia also detects irregularities in the elections of October 20

“The MEE-EU observed numerous errors and irregularities in the electoral records,” the report explains. Specifically, it refers to electoral records with an unusually high number of null votes, blank votes and one hundred percent participation of voters in a series of polling stations. He also found that several minutes should have been annulled.

Although these problems originated at the polling stations, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Bolivia (TSE) and the Departmental Electoral Tribunal (TED) “left their responsibility to verify the minutes and decide with legal criteria on their validity.” “The computation process was chaotic and seemed to be due to the TSE's effort to proclaim the presidential results as soon as possible, regardless of errors and irregularities,” the report said.

In conclusion, the EU expert mission considers that the decisions of the TSE, combined with the absence of explanations about its decisions and the change in trend, “irrevocably damaged confidence in the process of calculating results”.

With a view to the future, the EU mission recommends banning all illicit use of state resources in the campaign, improving the electoral justice system, improving the transparency and communication of the TSE, taking measures to combat false news and misinformation, establish clearer criteria for the revision of the electoral records, allow the counts, improve the process of preliminary results and promote the participation of national observers.

In one of the first reactions to the report, the new president of the TSE, Salvador Romero, has pointed out that the OAS and EU reports will be the “road maps” to improve and guarantee transparency in the next elections.

“The EU report, as well as that of the OAS, that places critical points in the 2019 electoral process is valuable to us and from that point of view we assume it as a roadmap that puts elements that must be improved or changed and that allow us to reach the election day of 2020 with all the issues resolved and the confidence of the citizens and that there are transparent elections, “he said, according to the Bolivian newspaper 'Los Tiempos'.

Romero has also advanced that in the first days of January the call and the date of the national elections to elect president and parliament will be announced. However, the first tasks will be to fill the vacancies and vacant positions, which represents 15 percent of the TSE staff.

As for observers, Romero has stressed that they will create all the necessary mechanisms to enable the presence of all necessary national and international observers, so that the process is transparent.

In his opinion, the “important” thing is that citizens come to vote in the electoral elections next year with the full certainty that these results will “fully” reflect the popular will.

Morales resigned on November 10 and fled to Mexico. Jeanine Áñez, second vice president of the Senate, proclaimed herself interim president to fill the power vacuum left by the former president and the resignation of other senior officials.

Bolivia is now preparing to celebrate new ones in which neither Morales nor his vice president, Álvaro García Linera, will be able to participate, according to the agreement to which his party, the Movement To Socialism (MAS), and the Government of Áñez have arrived in Congress .

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