The Organization of American States (OAS) will send 53 observers to monitor Colombia’s presidential election on May 25, the organization announced via press release on Tuesday.
Costa Rica’s president, Jose Maria Figueres Olsen, will head the delegation.
The Electoral Observation Mission of the Organization of American States in Colombia, as the delegation is titled, is already in the Colombia to, “learn about the progress made in the organization of the upcoming presidential elections of May 25.”
According to the press release, the delegation consists of 53 experts and observers from 17 different OAS member states. The delegation’s responsibilities will include, “integral analysis of fundamental issues in the election such as electoral organization and technology, campaign financing, electoral security, conflict resolution and the vote abroad.”
OAS observers have already held meetings with various government officials, including presidential candidates and representatives of political parties. According to the statement, OAS representatives have heard concerns regarding the organization of the electoral process.
The announcement comes less than a month ahead of Colombia’s president elections, which will be held on May 25. Polls showed Sunday that President Juan Manuel Santos maintains a lead, but that a second round is almost certain.
According to two different national polls, a second round of elections is almost guaranteed to take place, with President Santos still in the lead but candidates Oscar Ivan Zuluaga of the Democratic Center and Enrique Peñalosa for the Green Alliance closing the gap behind him.
Both the Datexto and the Ipsos Napoleon Franco polls project that Peñalosa and Zuluaga are likely to be Santos’ main competitors in a second round of elections scheduled for June 15th.
The Datexto poll for El Tiempo and Radio W shows Santos ahead with 28.3 % of the vote, Zuluaga with 16%, and Peñalosa with 15.7%.
In contrast to Datexo, the Ipsos poll conducted for the Media Alliance (consisting of Semana magazine, RNC Radio and TV, and La F.m), shows support for Santos falling from 28% to 23% over the same time period. Ipsos figures show Zuluaga to have 15% of the vote, while Peñalosa lags beind at 11%.