The secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, said on Monday that “beyond the difficulties and problems, the Guatemalan people have been able to express their will. We hope that the runoff election is carried out in a climate of peace and cooperation between the different sectors of the country.”
The OAS Electoral Observation Mission (EOM/OAS), headed by former Ambassador Jose Octavio Bordon, noted the punctual opening of polling locations by the designated poll workers. It also stressed the high level of participation by Guatemalan citizens who had significant access to helpful voter information, ultimately facilitating the electoral process.
The mission commended the officials of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) in the field who efficiently resolved inquiries and questions from voters, and responded well to assisting citizens with special needs. Working in the 22 geographic departments throughout Guatemala, the 86 EOM/OAS observers ascertained that in 62% of observed cases the electoral rolls were in plain sight and a high percentage of public prosecutors (attorneys) of political parties were present, which contributed to the transparency of the electoral process.
The Mission noted with concern, however, that in many cases, citizens had to wait in long lines and for an extended time to vote; a logistical fault of the electoral organization. Also, some voters did not have proper locale information prior to their going to vote and arrived at locations that did not correspond to their registered polling sites, complicating the voting process.