OAS denounces violations in Paraguay's presidential elections

2013-04-23 03:00:01 GMT2013-04-23 11:00:01(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

ASUNCION, April 22 (Xinhua) -- Electoral violations had been detected in Paraguay's presidential elections that put millionaire businessman Horacio Cartes in power, the Organization of American States (OAS) said Monday.

Oscar Arias, head of a mission sent by the OAS to observe the presidential elections, told a press conference that members of his delegation witnessed "vote buying" at some polling stations and the "roundup" of indigenous groups before they were taken to the polls.

Both represented "serious electoral violations," said Arias, a former Costa Rican president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

He added that several members of Paraguay's Supreme Court of Electoral Justice made "unacceptable" statements about the voting process and its outcome on the election day.

Such comments were "incompatible" with the "impartiality that the institution must maintain," Arias said.

The OAS observer chief recommended making changes to the "composition" of the Paraguayan electoral body at all levels to turn it into a professional civilian institution, saying voting stations should be manned "with citizens that have been randomly selected."

Cartes won Paraguay's presidential elections Sunday, bringing the once long-ruling Colorado Party to power again since it was defeated in 2008 after more than six decades in power.

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