Paraguay’s Superior Electoral Tribunal, TSJE said on Wednesday that representatives from Unasur, Union of South American Nations, would be present as observers of the electoral process scheduled for next April. The accord was signed by TSJE president Alberto Ramirez Zamonini and the head of Unasur High Level Group, Salomon Lerner.
TSJE officials underlined the significance of the accord for international acknowledgement of the April 21 elections since the Unasur Electoral Follow-up mission will be participating in all stages of the organization and process, plus the fact that Mr Lerner has shown ‘unquestionable impartial criteria’ in his reporting on the political situation in Paraguay.
“The head of the High Level Group, Mr. Salomon Lerner also referred to the process underlining that the Unasur mandate is of absolute respect for the sovereignty and integrity of Paraguay”, said TSJE in an official release.
“The strict compliance with the elections chronogram is an aspect that will also play an important role in the legitimization of the whole process”, said Mr Lerner.
The former Peruvian Prime Minister, following the removal of Fernando Lugo from the Executive last June and the suspension of Paraguay from Unasur and Mercosur, was named head of the Unasur High Level Group to monitor the Paraguayan situation regarding human, civil and political rights.
His report after a fact finding mission to Paraguay was positive, but the two regional organizations kept the suspension and non recognition of President Federico Franco’s administration. However the governments of Chile, Colombia and Peru recently returned their ambassadors to Asuncion.
Finally the TSJE praises the attitude of the government of President Franco, which “despite the disparity of criteria regarding Unasur’ presence in the monitoring of the electoral process, has assumed the commitment of not interfering in the current situation”.
The government of Franco has anticipated that it will not grant the Unasur mission to the elections any special status, support or accommodation, contrary to what all other international observers and monitoring groups which will be attending the April 21 ballot will enjoy.