Presidential candidate tells UN guarantees for fair elections fall short in Colombia
Colombian presidential candidate Clara Lopez expressed her concern to UN delegates on Wednesday about what she claimed to be a lack of guarantees for fair elections.
According to her party office, the candidate for the Democratic Pole (Polo Democratico Alternativo – PDA) raised a number of concerns such as the recent death threats to candidates, unbalanced information from the government’s peace negotiations with the FARC in Cuba, and the lack of an electronic voting system during the elections.
“We have delivered a dossier of all the threats that have been made against leaders of the Democratic Pole in regions of armed conflict, and we have informed to the UN delegates the lack of electoral guarantees in Colombia that we, and other parties that do not belong to the national unity, suffer,” said Lopez.
Threats to Colombian political candidates from armed rebel and criminal groups have plagued the country for years, and with the as the National Congress elections in March and the Presidential elections in May both sides of politics have reported receiving death threats.
During the meeting Lopez also referred to the recent wiretapping scandal revealed earlier in the week by Colombian magazine, Semana, that shows new cases of espionage on opposition politicians and the government peace negotiators in Cuba.
“We think that if measures are not taken, these elections will be based on illegitimacy and we see that for example the issue of wiretapping,” said Lopez adding that the wiretapping actions are a clear lack of control from the government.
The investigation by Semana, which accused the Colombian military of using CIA funds to spy on candidates, and peace negotiators has already caused the dismissal of the military’s Director of Intelligence and calls for the resignations of high-ranking government officials—including Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon.
According to Lopez Obragon’s office, The delegates to the UN confirmed that they are already following up on the allegations and will make their recommendations to the Interior Minister, Aurelio Iragorri.
- Clara Lopez press release
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