The electoral observation chief of the Organization of American States (OAS) disqualified criticism of former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe of widespread voter fraud and abuse of power as “absolutely disproportionate.”
OAS electoral observation mission leader Jose Maria Figueras told press on Monday that his office had not received one complaint that would substantiate Uribe’s allegations against the administration of President Juan Manuel Santos who was elected in Sunday’s elections.
“According to my judgment, based on my trips to Colombia and the observations of 74 observers it is absolutely disproportionate to speak of fraud,” said Figueras.
Uribe’s criticism opposed that of the government, who said that the elections had been the safest and most quiet in recent history.
The Electoral Observation Mission (MOE), an independent electoral monitor, announced 196 reports of electoral irregularities and crimes gathered in between 6AM and 3PM during the second round of Colombia’s presidential elections. The majority of reports ranged from illegal political propaganda to allegations of vote buying.
According to the OAS mission leader, “we have received complaints but none of them documented or with the appropriate evidence” that merit doubting the legitimacy of the elections.
In Sunday’s election, Santos was reelected following a fiercely contested race.
In his consistent endorsement of Zuluaga, Uribe frequently accused Santos and his administration of aligning with leftist rebel groups for electoral purposes, the granting of public funds to regional local political dynasties in exchange for political support, and the abuse of government means for electoral purposes.
Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez, a political ally of the former President, said his office would be investigating the alleged overstepping of officials.
Meanwhile, Colombia’s police sacked a number of policemen for spreading Zuluaga propaganda and the Prosecutor General’s Office has begun an investigation of alleged spying on peace talks and the Santos campaign by Zuluaga and his campaign team.
Uribe has long been at odds with justice over his own handling of democratic means. His elections in 2002 and 2006 were marred by paramilitary intimidation of the electorate, resulting in the conviction of more than 45 congressmen for ties to paramilitary organization AUC.
The former president’s reelection in 2006 has also been criticized after lawmakers admitted to have accepted bribes to approve a constitutional amendment that increased the maximum amount of presidential terms to two.