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Cablegate: Oas Eom Positive On Nicaraguan Elections

VZCZCXYZ0001
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMU #2286 2901633
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 171633Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANAGUA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7900
INFO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS MANAGUA 002286

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR WHA/CEN AND USOAS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM EAID OAS NU
SUBJECT: OAS EOM POSITIVE ON NICARAGUAN ELECTIONS
PREPARATIONS

REF: MANAGUA 1593

1. (SBU) Summary: The technical team leading the OAS'
electoral observation mission (EOM) in Nicaragua appeared
generally positive during a recent briefing regarding
preparations for the November 5 national elections, although
they noted some areas of concern. Technical mission chief
Patricio Gajardo confirmed that the Supreme Electoral Council
(CSE) will soon complete production and distribution (to its
local branches) of approximately 400,000 voting documents.
The EOM has also received complaints from the Liberal
political parties regarding the use of the National Stadium
as a data collection point for Managua and reports of
irregularities concerning the training of voting station
officials. End Summary.

2. (SBU) The OAS briefed representatives from countries
contributing to the EOM on October 11. According to the OAS,
the CSE plans to have completed delivery of 214,000
"documentos supletorios" (temporary voting documents) and
180,000 cedulas (national/voter ID cards) to the Municipal
Electoral Councils (CEMs) by October 13. The OAS confirmed
that, unlike previous elections, the CSE has no plan to
distribute voting documents beyond the CEMs. (Comment: Many
voters in remote areas are unable to bear the expense of
traveling to their CEM to retrieve their voting documents.
In past elections, the CSE has made efforts to distribute the
uncollected documents door-to-door. Even though IFES has
offered to provide a bus and motorcycles for CSE officials to
travel to rural areas, the CSE has not shown any willingness
to accommodate voters who cannot collect their cedula or
documento supletorio at the CEMs. Several political parties
have denounced the CSE's unwillingness to come up with a more
comprehensive distribution plan. End Comment.)

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3. (SBU) The CSE also told the OAS representatives that the
Council has completed 90 percent of requests for observer
status from international and national observation groups.
The OAS team agreed to follow up on complaints from national
observers that the CSE has not guaranteed them access to the
CEDs, CEMs, or vote computation centers. (Note: The OAS has
been aware of this issue for some time -- see reftel. End
Note.)

4. (SBU) Liberal Constitutional Party (PLC) and Nicaraguan
Liberal Alliance (ALN) officials told OAS observers that they
do not want the CSE to designate the National Stadium as the
central collection point for vote results in the department
of Managua as it will be too crowded, and the FSLN could
delay submission of results if it is behind in the vote
tallies on election day. The PLC and ALN prefer to submit
results at the voting centers themselves, or at more
dispersed and convenient locations.

5. (SBU) The OAS also noted problems with the IFES-sponsored
training for JRV (voting station) officials. Many CEMs have
not submitted their registries of JRV members in a timely
manner. Some parties have complained that other parties
(specifically the Sandinista Renovation Movement and
Alternative for Change) have submitted the same names for
multiple positions -- supposedly because they do not have
enough people to fill all of the JRV slots they were
allotted. The OAS reported, however, that the JRV suplentes
(alternates) are receiving the training, although each party
is only allowed to accredit a number of suplentes equal to 10
percent of the total number of primary JRV officials allotted
to that party in a specific department (although the
suplentes may serve at any JRV in that department).

6. (SBU) Comment: After the briefing, OAS EOM officials
informed Emboffs that the EOM would not be able to
accommodate 20 Amcits in the EOM, even though they
acknowledged initially agreeing to this number months ago.
They explained that their superiors in the OAS had insisted
that the EOM allocate only 10 spaces for each nationality,
although they were willing to make a "special exception" for
the U.S. and authorized 15 spaces. Emboffs resolved the
conflict by asking the EOM officials to register the "extra"
Amcits under their dual nationalities (some are foreign-born
spouses of mission personnel).
TRIVELLI

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