ASUNCION – Former Costa Rican president Laura Chinchilla began on Tuesday her activities as head of the Organization of American States (OAS) mission that will observe Paraguay’s April 22 elections.

During an event at Paraguay’s TSJE electoral court, Chinchilla and the president of the TSJE, Jaime Bestard, signed an agreement establishing the terms of the mission, which will include 39 observers from 14 countries.

“This agreement establishes the framework that we will use to launch our mission. It specifies the immunities and privileges granted to the observers, as well as the mission’s reach and mode of operation,” Chinchilla said during a press conference.

She explained that, throughout the week and up to the day of the election, the mission will observe “women’s political participation, campaign financing, electoral organization, the use of voting technologies, as well as issues concerning electoral justice.”

Chinchilla also said that, on election day, “observers will be deployed throughout the country and throughout the day to different polling stations.”

According to the former Costa Rican president, once the election is over, the OAS team will prepare a preliminary report as well as a final, more detailed, report in which they will present their findings and recommendations.

“This mission’s objective is to continue to contribute to the strengthening of Paraguay’s institutions and elections,” she said.

Chinchilla added that she is planning to meet several key actors involved in the election, in which Paraguayans will choose a president, vice president, members of Congress and provincial governors.

This is the 14th OAS electoral observation mission to visit Paraguay.

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