U.S. Statement at the Universal Periodic Review of Bolivia
Geneva, November 5, 2019
As delivered by Sean Garcia
The United States recommends that Bolivia:
- Commit to respect the findings of international audits of the October 20 election and their determinations of whether it was genuinely free and fair, transparently investigate allegations of election irregularities, and refrain from declaring a winner until these measures have been fulfilled.
- In order to restore faith in Bolivia’s elections, immediately implement reforms to strengthen electoral procedures, increase transparency, and ensure the independence of electoral authorities. Bolivia should consult closely with civil society groups, the OAS, and the international community on these reforms.
- Strengthen judicial independence, including by instituting legal protections for judges and electoral officials so they are not arbitrarily dismissed for issuing rulings unfavorable to the government.
Genuinely free and fair elections, enshrined in the Inter-American Democratic Charter and in the Bolivian constitution, are a benchmark for societies that respect human rights and the basic tenets of democracy. We are deeply concerned by reported irregularities in Bolivia’s electoral process, including irregular vote counting, that undermine public confidence in the fairness of the most recent election. The voice of the Bolivian people must be respected in order to ensure a responsive and responsible governing structure in place to provide protections for its citizens.