European Union External Action

Bolivia: European Union deploys an Election Observation Mission

Brussels, 20/02/2020 - 15:42, UNIQUE ID: 200221_13
Press releases

Following an invitation by the Bolivian authorities, the European Union will deploy an Election Observation Mission (EOM) in the country to observe the first round of Presidential elections and legislative elections on 3 May. The EOM wouldalso observe a possible second round of presidential elections on 14 June.

Josep Borrell, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, has consulted the European Parliament and appointed its Member Ms. Isabel Santos, as Chief Observer of this Election Observation Mission.

High Representative and Vice President Josep Borrell stated: "Bolivia and the European Union are long-standing partners. The EU Election Observation Mission reflects ourstrong commitment to support the democratic process in Bolivia. The 2020 elections will be crucial for the country to reaffirm its commitment to democratic values, the rule of law and civil rights. A successful electoral process is essential to restore the stability that Bolivia needs to deliver its political and socio-economic objectives for development and prosperity, for the benefit of the Bolivian people.”

Chief Observer Isabel Santos declared: “After the political tensions of last year, the coming elections are of paramount importance for Bolivia. Many challenges lie ahead for these elections, organised under very tight deadlines and with a renewed Supreme Electoral Court, an institution that sufferedsignificant losses of infrastructure, equipment and staff in 2019. Together with the Electoral Observation Mission team, we will provide support to contribute to enhancingtransparency and increasing public confidence in these elections.”

The Electoral Observation Mission's core team, consisting of 10 analysts, will arrive in La Paz on 18 March. The team will stay in the country until the completion of the electoral process, including the potential second round of the presidential election. Thirty long-term observers will join the core team, and will be deployed across the country. A further 60 short-term observers will be deployed across the country around Election Day. The EU EOM looks forward to cooperating and communicating with other international and domestic observation missions.

Shortly after Election Day, the mission will issue a preliminary statement of its findings. A final report, including recommendations for future electoral processes, will bepresented publicly after the completion of all stages of the electoral process. The EU will continue to work with the Bolivian authorities and all relevant actors on the implementation of the recommendations of its observation missions in Bolivia.

Background

The EU has conducted a number of election observation activities in Bolivia, namely, EU Election Observation Missions (EOMs) in 2006 and 2009 and Election Expert Missions (EEMs) in 2014 and 2019. Furthermore, the EU is currently supporting a project providing technical support to the Plurinational Electoral Body, as well as supporting the work of Bolivian civil society organisations that will observe the elections.

The EU also continues to play an important role in the mediation between the interim government and the Legislative Assembly to facilitate a democratic and peaceful solution.