Asunción – 21 April 2008 – April 20, 2008, saw the people of Paraguay hold elections to select their new President, Vice-President, Senators, Deputies, Representatives for PARLASUR, Governors and Departmental Councils. The Election Observation Mission of the Internatonal Foundation for Election Systems (IFES), led by Dr. Andres Pastrana, the former President of Colombia, lends:
· Congratulations to the Paraguayan People for their maturity in going to the polls to cast votes and elect, in an environment of tolerance, peace, and tranquility, their highest authorities with a participation of more than 65 percent.
· Recognition for participation, professionalism, order, and respect for legality that characterized the manner in which the high authorities, functionaries and employees of the Electoral Tribunal, as well as members of the civic boards, poll workers, and political party poll watchers carried out their duties on Election Day. This recognition also extends to public institutions and civil society organizations, within their respective areas of competence which collaborated in these successful elections.
· Congratulations to political organizations and winning candidates in the elections for the achievement of a transparent electoral event, which bestowed upon them the responsibility to undertake the highest duties of their new offices to further common good. Likewise, respectful recognition to those who conceded their respective races, demonstrating political maturity and democratic vocation in acknowledging victories of their opponents.
· Reaffirmation to the historic moment of change in which Paraguay now finds itself at the will of the people as expressed freely in genuine, regular, and credible elections.
IFES is in Paraguay by invitation from the High Tribunal for Electoral Justice (Tribunal Superior de Justicia Electoral) (TSJE) to observe the April 20 General Elections. IFES began organizing the International Election Observation Mission in late February and will continue its presence in-country to monitor post-election stages of this electoral process.
IFES is satisfied the electoral actors accepted the majority of the recommendations presented in its reports on March 26 and April 13; such as releasing preliminary election results as soon as possible, recognizing domestic and international observers, and claiming victory after verification by electoral authorities.
Upon completion of its mission, IFES will report on its work in Paraguay and present it to all political actors. IFES will make its recommendations with the same spirit of fraternity and support, and continue to accompany the Paraguayan people in this historic democratic exercise.
IFES deployed international observers from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, México, Nicaragua, Perú, the United States, Uruguay and Venezuela throughout the country.
IFES is a non-profit organization headquartered in Washington, DC, and has undertaken projects in more than 100 countries around the world. It undertook electoral observation missions in Latin American and Caribbean countries such as Chile, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, México, Nicaragua, Panamá, Perú, and Venezuela, amongst others.
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IFES is an international, non-profit organization that supports the building of democratic societies.