EU to send Election Observation Mission to Guatemala
Following invitations from the Guatemalan state and electoral authorities, the European Commission has decided to deploy a European Union Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Guatemala to observe the Presidential, Legislative and Municipal elections, scheduled to take place on 9 September 2007. The EU EOM will be led by Wolfgang Kreissl-Dörfler, Member of the European Parliament.
Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, said: “These elections should mark a further step towards the consolidation of democracy in Guatemala. I am convinced that with its presence through out the country, this election observation mission will play an important role in enhancing transparency and public confidence. At the same time, this initiative is a renewed sign of our commitment towards stability and development in Central America, as recently shown by the start of the negotiation process for a bi-regional Association Agreement”.
The EOM Core team will consist of the Chief Observer and seven experts who will arrive in the country at the end of July. The Chief Observer will immediately take up contact with the country’s national electoral authority (the Tribunal Supremo Electoral), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and all key players in the election process. They will be joined shortly thereafter by 48 long-term observers (LTOs), who will be deployed throughout the country to follow the campaign period and pre-election preparations, as well as election day and the post-election period.
An additional 50 short-term observers (STOs), together with Members of European Parliament and diplomats from EU Member State embassies in Guatemala, will join the mission over the election day period to observe voting, counting and the tabulation of results. If a second round of the Presidential election is required, the EU EOM will remain in country until this has been completed.
An EU EOM was also deployed to Guatemala to observe the previous general elections in November 2003.
The EU is making available €3.5 million, from the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), to meet the costs of deploying this mission.
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