Liberal Party leader and presidential candidate Rafael Pardo expressed concern about electoral campaigning practices to the Organization of American States (OAS) in the lead up to the Colombian national elections.
Pardo met with OAS official Enrique Correa to complain about practices that are not conducive towards carrying out fair and clean elections, Caracol Radio reported Wednesday. The OAS is in charge of monitoring the Colombian elections.
Pardo’s first and main critique was aimed directly at Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. He stressed that Uribe’s re-election would be illegitimate and alleged that the president “picks and chooses which [laws] to comply with based on publicity and public opinion, in favor of some political forces and to the detriment of others”.
The presidential candidate also complained that Uribe improperly uses the media and his position as president to promote other candidates who are “sympathetic to the government,” and also that the Uribe government channels money to support the campaigns of those candidates.
A delegation of OAS representatives are in Colombia to “plan the Mission and report on the pre-election situation.”
Pablo Gutiérrez, Director of Electoral Observation of the OAS, said that a “pair of specialists began conducting visits that take them to different cities around the country,” in order to collect information to determine where they will place their election observers, El Tiempo reported Wednesday.
According to Gutierrez, 100 OAS officials will be in Colombia for the elections, and 70 of them will observe the voting process.
The OAS announced in January that it had signed an agreement with the Colombian government authorizing it to monitor the elections in Colombia.
The OAS is the oldest regional organization in the world, dating back to 1889. Its purpose is to promote democracy, human rights, security, and development in the Western Hemisphere.