OAS admits absence of final report on elections in Bolivia

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OAS admits absence of final report on elections in Bolivia
Fecha de publicación: 
28 November 2019
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Washington, November 28 (RHC)-- Although over a month has gone by, the Organization of American States does not have the report that allegedly would demonstrate the existence of irregularities in the presidential elections.

In response to a request made by the Latin American Strategic Center for Geopolitics (Celag), the Organization of American States (OAS) acknowledges that its final report on Bolivia's presidential elections is not ready yet.  "When it is complete, the final report and all its annexes will be available for public consultation," the OAS Department for Electoral Cooperation and Observation director, Gerardo de Icaza, admitted.

His statement was made in a letter sent to Celag, an academic institution that requested the OAS electoral audit, which endorsed the existence of electoral fraud, be published completely.  "After offering us empty answers, they reply us with this letter on November 25, in which they recognize that 36 days after the elections they don't have a definitive report yet," Celag researcher Alfredo Serrano, tweeted.

After the October 20th presidential elections, reports of alleged irregularities were used by far-right politicians and businessmen to unleash protests that forced President Evo Morales to resign.

Amid this context, Celag and other research institutions criticized the OAS report as international observers recommended a second electoral round even before rural votes were counted.  After Morales resigned, opposition lawmaker Jeanine Añez self-proclaimed herself Bolivia's interim president on November 12th.

"This is sinister.  Bolivia's Army delivered the highest award of military merit to de facto president Jeanine Añez.  The coup continues, the death toll accumulates, the repression does not halt and they congratulate each other for breaking a country."

This US-backed political maneuver was supported by the Army and the Police, which unleashed a campaign of violent repression against citizens who protested the presidential succession.  On Tuesday, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) executive secretary Paulo Abrao also acknowledged that Bolivia may need help to investigate a "massive" number of human rights violations.

Therefore he recommended local authorities coordinate with an international panel of experts similar to one formed to investigate the disappearance of 43 students in Mexico.  "Normally in these situations... national institutions aren't prepared to resolve such a massive grouping of violations," Abrao said in Cochabamba, a region hard hit by the State-led violence.

Over the last week, thanks to a United Nations-led mediation process, the Añez administration and supporters of Evo Morales have managed to reach deals to pave the way for new elections, to end protests and to withdraw troops from the streets.​​​​​​​

Edited by Ed Newman

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