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Head of election monitoring mission expresses support for Costa Rican election authority

April 8, 2014

The leader of the Organization of American States election monitoring delegation outlined its mission for Sunday and celebrated the “strength” of Costa Rica’s electoral authority, the Supreme Elections Tribunal (TSE).

Headed by former Mexican presidential candidate Josefina Vázquez Mota, the OAS mission is made up of 16 people from eight different countries.

“As a mission we have a very clear mandate: respect for the laws of the land, in this case election laws. We will not intervene in any of the (electoral) processes but we do have a role as observers to see that the elections are carried out according to the law,” Vázquez said Wednesday evening.

The mission head noted that as part of Costa Rica’s “mature” democracy, the TSE showed great “institutional strength.”

“We haven’t found a single concern; (we’ve only found) absolute confidence that next Sunday the (TSE) will respect the vote and the decision of each Costa Rican,” Vázquez said.

The former presidential aspirant from Mexico’s National Action Party said the OAS mission would focus on equal media coverage and access for all parties, and the subject of equal access to public campaign financing for all political parties as key subjects for their report, which will be presented Monday, Feb. 3.

Eleven of the team’s 16 members will monitor media coverage to track representation online and on the airways.

The Mexican observer said that social media has never before played such an important role in a Costa Rican election, and has played an especially significant role for young Ticos.

“Costa Rica has left behind a bipartisan system and entered a democracy with multiple parties,” Vázquez said. “The fact that there are 13 candidates for the presidency is revealing of the transformation of Costa Rican democracy.”

“For us it represents a challenge and a great responsibility and above all we will do a job that’s responsible, impartial and that can contribute to the improvement of the Costa Rican democratic system,” the mission head promised.

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