Dispatch of Election Monitoring Mission for Presidential and General Elections in Guatemala

August 31, 2007

  1. In response to a request from the Organization of American States (OAS), the Government of Japan has decided to send four election observers (a specialist in Guatemalan affairs, an official of the Latin American and Caribbean Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, and two staff members of the Japanese Embassy in Guatemala) to the Presidential and General Elections to be held in the Republic of Guatemala on September 9 (Sun).
  2. In the Republic of Guatemala, a peace process began after the final peace agreement was concluded at the end of 1996, putting an end to the civil war which had lasted for 36 years.  Japan has been supporting Guatemala’s efforts to strengthen democracy and has continued extending cooperation for rural development and sustainable economic development.  The upcoming elections will be the third of their kind since the conclusion of the final peace agreement.  The conduct of the elections has been largely transferred to local departments for the first time, and the registered number of voters is increased compared to the last elections.  It is extremely important to secure a fair and transparent process of implementation in the process where steady progress toward strengthening of democratization is observed, and the international community is highly interested.  The Japanese election monitors will participate as part of the OAS monitoring mission in such activities as monitoring the voting and ballot counting in the capital, Guatemala City, and its environs.  
  3. Concerning these elections, the Government of Japan has extended a grassroots human security grant aid totaling about 86,000 dollar to the OAS Office in Guatemala, which monitors the elections.