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Statement from the OAS Mission in Paraguay
By OAS
Feb 28, 2013 - 4:20:50 PM

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The Chief of the Electoral Observation and Political Accompaniment Mission in Paraguay of the Organization of American States (OAS), Oscar Arias Sanchez, completed his second visit to Asunción Thursday. During his stay, the former President of Costa Rica and Nobel Peace Prize Winner heard various viewpoints on the situation in the country just weeks before the general elections on April 21. The OAS representative also signed the agreement for electoral observation procedures with the Supreme Court of Electoral Justice.

In a busy agenda, Arias met with virtually all the presidential candidates participating in the current electoral process. He also met with the President of the Republic, Federico Franco; the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador José Félix Fernández Estigarribia; authorities from the Supreme Court of Electoral Justice; representatives of diplomatic missions to Paraguay; ombudsmen from human rights organizations; and directors of media outlets.

The Mission wishes to highlight that in these meetings a large majority of the presidential candidates expressed their personal disposition and that of the political forces they represent to participate in a process of political dialogue following the election. This process of dialogue would seek to outline a common agenda, to be decided by various Paraguayan political actors, for strengthening democratic governance and human development in the country.

"One of the biggest demands that our societies make of their political leaders is to achieve, through a respectful and inclusive dialogue, broad agreements which are then transformed into institutional reforms and public policies that provide solutions to the problems of the population. Doing this in Paraguay would be a great example of responsibility and maturity for the entire region," stressed the Chief of the Electoral Observation and Political Accompaniment Mission in Paraguay.

The OAS, through the person of former President Arias, will continue to facilitate this conversation between all Paraguayan political and social sectors. In this regard, the Mission wishes to express its gratitude for the willingness expressed by the United Nations to jointly promote this agenda in Paraguay.

During the coming weeks the Mission will continue its deployment of international observers, who will join the mobile group in charge of following the organization of the electoral process in the whole country.

The Mission wishes to acknowledge, finally, the valuable efforts of the Supreme Court of Electoral Justice to organize a transparent electoral process worthy of the confidence of all Paraguayan political actors and citizens. The Mission reiterates its call for candidates participating in this race to continue the campaign in the context of mutual respect, observance of the electoral calendar and the discussion of ideas and proposals.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at www.oas.org.

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