The XV Conference of the Inter-American Union of Electoral Organizations (UNIORE) was inaugurated this Monday, an event that coincides with the 30th anniversary of the creation of the entity that groups 33 electoral organizations, this time with the Dominican Republic as host country, represented by the Central Electoral Board (JCE) and the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE).
The event, which will take place on November 1 and 2 at the Embassy Suite by Hilton Hotel in the city of Santo Domingo, brings together delegations from more than 19 UNIORE member countries.
The welcoming remarks were made by José Thompson Jiménez, Executive Director of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights/Centro de Asesoría y Promoción Electoral, the entity that serves as the Executive Secretariat of UNIORE, who emphasized that despite the fact that the pandemic disrupted the schedule with rescheduling and postponements, including the activities of this organization, some activities were able to take place in this part of the world.
Attorney General and PN Director meet to coordinate joint actions on citizen security
Attorney general and PN director meet to coordinate joint actions on citizen security
“In this part of the world democracy was able to be reprogrammed, we had elections, a very special recognition to this Dominican Republic that was the first country to have elections at the first moment of the pandemic and we were able to learn from you and from the lessons of that process,” he said.
Thompson Jiménez, said that it is necessary that this conference focuses on the path to reject the attacks to the electoral system and strengthen the electoral institutionality in the region. He also asked that the debates be rich in ideas and initiatives to face the risks and threats that may arise.
Haitians in the DR worried about the situation in their country
Remarks by the Co-Presidents of the XV UNIORE Conference
While finishing his turn, the president of the Central Electoral Board and co-president of UNIORE, Román Andrés Jáquez Liranzo, made a historical review of the democratic system up to the present day, to get to the political and electoral administration, highlighting that “we are the region of the world with a technically integrated electoral system”.
However, Jáquez Liranzo pointed out that there are still traces of the past, and that they can see that many, not being able to obtain the favor of the people, incur in discrediting the electoral bodies, thus damaging the democratic system.
“We have seen how independence has been fiercely attacked”, warned the president of the JCE, who highlighted that the presence of disturbing actions against electoral institutions in Latin America have been diverse, such as economic strangulation, limiting the budget with which they carry out their functions and affecting the autonomy regime.
Likewise, he highlighted the reality of the massification of the technological media, which although they have meant a democratization of information, they have also brought with them false information and disinformation, which like a big snowball are driven to affect the credibility of the processes.
He pointed out that all of the above has led to a stage of things in which not only has it gone to the extremes of going beyond questioning the electoral results, but the physical integrity of the members that make up the electoral bodies of the region and even their families has been endangered.
“It would seem that the narrative of discrediting would stop there, but it is not so: there is a modality of attack that is focused on the Latin American electoral model, publicly requesting, on occasions, that the democratic achievements of its independence from the government be rolled back and that we move to a model where elections are organized by the Executive Branch. This would be a mortal blow to the Latin American democracy that should put a watchful eye not only to the electoral bodies and the entities that group them, but to all the political parties and the society. Democracy must be a priority for all”, said Jáquez Liranzo.
Finally, he stated that UNIORE has valued all the above in an attempt to strengthen democracy and the electoral system and has called to maintain the criticisms within the framework of respect and the corresponding jurisdictional channels.
Likewise, Ygnacio Camacho, president of the TSE, highlighted that both this XV UNIORE Conference and an activity of the World Electoral Justice Network are focused on promoting the strengthening of the participatory processes.