Observers of Colombia’s presidential elections sent by the Organization of American States say they have not witnessed any major irregularities in the first hour of voting.
According to mission chairman Enrique Correa, the observers are present in eighteen of Colombia’s 32 departments and will focus on areas considered at high risk of electoral fraud.
The OAS delegate told newspaper El Tiempo that the mission also had nine mobile groups able to travel all over Colombia in the case of serious irregularities.
Correa himself spent the first hour of voting in the north of Bogota where in the first fifteen minutes after the polls opened at 7 AM, 850 people lined up to vote. The OAS delegate witnessed the removal of one of the volunteers manning the polling station, because of drunkenness.
The OAS also monitored Colombia’s March 14 congressional elections, after which it reported 15,000 observed irregularities and that “observers noted vote-buying in the departments of Atlantico, Bolivar, Cundinamarca, Magdalena, Nariño and Norte de Santander.”
The observers noted that there had been little violence to disrupt the electoral process.