Bolivia’s National Electoral Court (CNE) agreed yesterday to host 127 observers from the Organization of American States (OAS) to monitor the national elections scheduled to take place on December 6. These observers will join 110 representatives from the European Union, more than 30 from The Carter Center and a number of individuals from other international groups. In total, more than 300 election observers will be on hand—making them the most heavily monitored elections in more than three decades of Bolivian democracy.
Ms. Renate Weber, chief of the EU delegation, signaled that the large number of observers was a reflection of the importance of these elections in which Bolivians will vote—under the new “plurinational” constitution—on the composition of the entire National Congress and in referendums on the question of autonomy for five of Bolivia’s nine departments and in 12 indigenous municipalities.
The stated purpose of the missions, which received an official invitation from the Bolivian government, is to strengthen Bolivia’s democratic system and ensure universal suffrage. The missions will produce press releases after the elections and/or briefings to their respective leaderships. According to recent polling, Bolivian President Evo Morales is a clear favorite to win re-election in December.