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IRI Begins Second Ecuador Election Observation Mission

November 21, 2002

Washington, DC – The International Republican Institute (IRI) announced today the arrival of its election observation mission to monitor the second round of Ecuador's presidential election to be held on November 24.

For the second round, IRI is deploying 21 observers to monitor the opening and closing of polling stations, the voting process and vote tabulation processes after the closing of the voting precincts. Through its efforts, IRI hopes to strengthen voter confidence and the democratic process in Ecuador.

IRI completed a 26-member election observation during the first round of Ecuador's elections held on October 20.  The delegation was led by former Bolivian President Jorge Quiroga.

Earlier this year, the Ecuadorian Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) extended an invitation to IRI to participate in this electoral process in the capacity of an international election observation mission. In June, IRI began performing a series of pre-election observation missions to the country aimed at assessing the political panorama in the country and gauging the preparedness of the TSE.

Leading up to the election's first round, IRI met with electoral authorities at the national, as well as provincial levels, members of the armed forces, political party representatives and candidates, representatives of local nongovernmental organizations, members of the media, international and domestic election observation groups, and Ecuadorian citizens in general.