Composition of Colombia’s incoming Congress far from definite: State Council

Posted on Mar 25 2014 - 12:03pm by Rico
(Photo: Federacion Nacional de Cafeteros)

The composition of Colombia’s incoming Congress is far from definite, the country’s State Council said Tuesday. Electoral authorities will need weeks to process claims of candidates who missed out on seats due to alleged election fraud.

After weeks of intense vote scrutiny by lawyers, candidates and delegates, the investigation into disputed seats in Congress will now be dealt with by the National Electoral Council and the 5th commission of the State Council.

The two government bodies will be working to settle lawsuits, claims of voter intimidation and claims of buying votes, a process which, they say, will not be sorted any time soon.

FACT SHEET: Congressional Election Polls

According to the preliminary count from the congressional elections, there are 15 seats still under dispute between the Senate and the House of Representatives.

For example there are two seats in the House of Representatives under dispute for the Cauca Valley, western Colombia:  one seat for the U Party (Partido de la U) which will be awarded to either Rafael Palau or Oliverio Hoyos, and one Liberal Party (Partido Liberal) seat to be  awarded to either Juan Fernando Reyes Kuri or Hernan Sinisterra.

According to Reyes Kuri, he has already filed 30 complaints to municipal and departmental committees hoping to have his case brought before the National Electoral Council (CNE).

“We will use all the law resources available and are preparing the document in which we ask the CNE to assume jurisdiction and review a few votes over which we have serious doubts, if this is not appropriate, we will initiate action for annulment of the election before the State Council State,” said Reyes Kuri .

MORE: Colombia Congressional elections saw ‘unprecedented voter fraud and vote buying’: Electoral Observers

With regards to the liberal seat, Oliver Hoyos has said that he will work with this case until the very end and he, along with others involved in seat disputes, have requested a vote re-count in the interests of transparency.

Hoyos stated that, “We, for example, we would never open as many bags as they opened, ones with over 500 votes in our favor. Further, we turn to the Prosecutor General to investigate cases such as in Zone 3 where the observer was the brother-in-law of Dilian Francisca Toro,” who was standing as candidate for the U Party.

MORE: Votes for five candidates to be nullified due to electoral fraud: Inspector General

Furthermore, the situation within the Senate itself is tense due to clashes within the parties as well as between the different political groups. 

In fact, sources from the National Electoral Council told El Pais newspaper that there have been “many complaints to the CNE, mostly by the Mira Movement and the Democratic Center, however, there is a need to wait for the end of national and international scrutiny in order to start filing these processes. ”

Despite the 2014 congressional elections being the least violent in recent years, high levels of voter fraud were recorded with the Electoral Obe


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