The Organization of American States’ (OAS) electoral observation mission called Colombia’s presidential elections “successful” and “an achievement for the Colombian government and people,” in its final report on the June 20 second round election, according to a press release.
The report, presented to the OAS’s Permanent Council on Thursday, certified the results of the Andean nation’s June 20 presidential election, and noted an improvement in electoral process since the March congressional elections.
“The presidential elections went ahead with greater diligence and correctness than the legislative one,” said OAS Chief of Mission, Enrique Correa.
According to Correa, his team of election observers registered vote buying in six Colombian departments in the March election, but during the May and June presidential elections, vote buying was only observed “in the municipalities of Bucaramanga and Monteria.”
Correa also praised Colombia for the peacefulness of the elections, saying that they “had the lowest levels of violence in the last decades” and had “few shocks for candidates, juries, party witnesses and electors.”
The chief OAS electoral observer also offered Colombia several recommendations for improving its electoral process in future elections, explaining that “there are still structural difficulties in the Colombian electoral system that require legal and technical adjustments to be overcome.”
Despite the challenges, Correa noted that “important progress was made in the presidential elections and the lessons learned from the March elections were evident.”
For his part, Carlos Ivan Plazas, the Alternate Representative of Colombia to the OAS, thanked “the support that the OAS brings to [his country’s] electoral processes and in particular to these recent elections.”
He also said that “the electoral process was further proof that Colombia has an efficient, effective and participative democracy.”