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Election day was peaceful and calm, although invasive strategies for attracting voters’ support in the vicinity of voting centres were frequently observed. Despite abundant evidence of trafficking in accreditations, vote counting was transparent. At the time of this statement’s publication, the Tribunal Supremo Electoral (TSE) has only made one announcement of partial results. The EU EOM considers that regular communication as the tabulation advances constitute an important transparency measure.
Candidates were generally able to enjoy their rights to freedom of assembly and association, as well as freedom of expression and freedom of movement, although this last was sometimes limited in areas with a strong presence of organised crime. Although the campaign was generally peaceful, the EU EOM is aware of cases of violence against candidates and activists from different parties during this time. Nonetheless, with investigations still underway, it is currently difficult to determine whether some or all of these incidents were of a political nature.
The new Law on Clean Politics constitutes a significant improvement to the legal framework for elections. It imposes caps on election campaign spending as well as limits on political party funding and it also reinforces transparency measures requiring parties to report their income and spending. However, the Auditing Unit created to oversee the law’s implementation only began its activities three months before the start of the election campaign, with severely limited resources in terms of budget, staffing and logistical support.