From last March 7 to this Sunday the 13th at 4:00 pm, local time in each of your countries, Colombians registered abroad voted in the consulates of 66 countries and in the 2,139 authorized tables. The day was marked by those who described it as calm and simple and some complaints of irregularities made by activists and politicians from countries such as the United States, Australia and Spain, among others.
Colombians abroad could choose one representative to the House of Representatives, one to the Senate and one of the three presidential consultations available. Total of 908,566 nationals were eligible to vote.
(Also read: Results of the 2022 Congress elections: follow the day live)
According to the Foreign Ministry, the day passed normally, despite the reports of irregularities. The vice president and foreign minister, Marta Lucía Ramírez, responded through a statement on Friday night that she was aware of the complaints made and gave “different instructions to the officials of the Foreign Ministry, pointing out the obligation of each and every one of the ambassadors and consuls to exercise due diligence, both for the registration of citizens in the consulates, as well as their registration in the different voting tables“.
Preliminary results from abroad
In the Senate, with a 80.7 percent of informed tablesthe Historical Pact took a total of 25,817 votes, followed by the Democratic Center party, which received 20,948 votes; and the Alianza Verde and Centro Esperanza coalition, which received 15,398 votes.
In the House of Representatives, where Colombians had the possibility of electing a parliamentarian who advocates for nationals living outside the country, the Historical Pact was also the winner.
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Counted 80.5 percent of the tables, the left coalition got 31,069 votes, followed by the Democratic Center party, which obtained 18,981 votes, and the Mira party, with 9,949 votes. The candidate who obtained the most votes at the close of this edition was Carmen Ramírez, of the Historical Pact, with 12,386 votes; She was followed by the votes only for the Historical Pact list, with 12,098, and in third place was the Democratic Center candidate, Juan David Vélez, with 8,797 votes.
As for the presidential consultations, it was also the Historical Pact and its candidate Gustavo Petro that received the most votes.
In the consultation on the left, informed by 84.3 percent of the polling stations, Petro took 29,071 votes, followed by Francia Márquez, who got 10,364 votes.
In the case of the Centro Esperanza query, 84.05 percent of the tables were informed, Sergio Fajardo was the winner with 7,647 votes, followed by Alejandro Gaviria, with 6,449.
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Finally, in the case of Team for Colombiascrutinized 82.1 percent of the tables, Fico Gutiérrez was the winner with 25,015 votesfollowed by Aydeé Lizarazo, who obtained 9,357.
That leaves a very different picture from four years ago, when the Democratic Center was the great leader abroad, followed by the Green Alliance and the Mira party.
In London (United Kingdom), around 4 pm (local time) on Saturday, there was a queue of Colombians trying to vote at the city’s consulate. “People come to vote and it has not been possible, because there are only two polling stations. Many have had to leave because they cannot vote. What they have said is that four years ago they have asked the Registrar’s Office to set up more voting tables and nothing,” reported an EL TIEMPO journalist at the scene.
madam chancellor @mluciaramirez: We are receiving reports from various parts of the world: London, Buenos Aires and Santiago de Chile, where voting is being impossible due to clearly deficient logistics. His silence amazes, what solution exists for Colombians?
Chile 👇 pic.twitter.com/FSkoWjo8cf
– Juan Manuel Galán (@juanmanuelgalan) March 12, 2022
In Montreal (Canada), a woman assured that her husband, named José Ángel, would have been supplanted when they went to vote on Wednesday, March 9. Through a video circulating on social networks, she said that when they arrived at the Colombian consulate, upon verifying the data, they were informed that the man appeared as if he had already voted.
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According to the lady, the Colombian consul in that city was aware of the fact and notified the Registrar’s Office. However, they have not been answered. “They tell us nothing can be done because it was a jury error. That is not justified. It is not justified that they say that it is a jury error and the thing stays that way; that is, they vote for one and there is nothing to do,” the woman emphasized.
The video was broadcast on Twitter by Luis Guillermo Pérez, magistrate of the National Electoral Council, who called for a “disciplinary and criminal investigation into the jurors.”
Faced with the impersonation of this voter in Montreal, Canada, I demand a disciplinary and criminal investigation of the members of the jury. There is a serious disciplinary offense and there is a crime, article 392 of the CP, favoring fraudulent voting is punishable by 4 to 9 years @FiscaliaCol @PGN_COL pic.twitter.com/scna6dlTAQ
– Luis Guillermo Pérez (@LuisGPerezCasas) March 10, 2022
In another case, in Miami (United States), some users on digital platforms have assured that in the polling stations they would be giving them the card of the Team for Colombia coalitionwithout being asked.
(Also: Elections: Attorney received 94 complaints for possible irregularities)
In that same city, users have reported that they have seen electoral advertising for candidates from the Democratic Center and Conservative parties at the point enabled. In an image that is circulating on social networks, you can see flyers of the candidate for the Chamber of National Movement, Jorge Alberto Valencia; the pre-candidate for Team for Colombia, David Barguil, and the candidate for the Chamber for the Democratic Center, Juan David Vélez.
On Madrid Spain), irregularities were also reported. A woman explained that in the authorized positions no fingerprint or signature was being taken at the time of voting. As he wrote on Twitter, the reasons would be related to the restrictions due to covid-19, a fact that he questioned: “The consul told me the same thing as this official, so I told him that it seemed disrespectful that they did not do it, because presented for fraud, vote theft and more corruption, which it was incredible that he would lend himself to this type of robbery and allow this“.
Today I voted at the Colombian consulate in Madrid, I share how I had the consulate security take me out when they asked why they weren’t collecting signatures or fingerprints at the time of voting, three different versions, I open a thread 🧵
– Nathalia with H (@hungry_vegana) March 11, 2022
Regarding the complaints in Spain, the Colombian consulate in Madrid issued a statement in which it says that “there is enough electoral material, sent and prepared by the National Registry, which is delivered every morning from the installation of the table to its opening at 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. closing time; that the electoral cards are only delivered to citizens who come to vote at the polling stations after verifying the voter’s ID, as stipulated in the instructions of the Registry”.
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The Registrar’s Office also reported that through a letter sent, they made a call to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the irregularities. “It is respectfully requested that the Foreign Ministry urge ambassadors and consuls to monitor the exercise of juries so that they unrestrictedly fulfill their legal functions, instructed in the training and contained in the record of voting juries abroad”, reads the letter signed by the national registrar Alexander Vega.
The National Registry makes a call to the Foreign Ministry for possible irregularities in elections for the Congress of the Republic abroad.
Official statement: https://t.co/eiFOCVQ9x5
— National Registry of Civil Status (@Registraduria) March 11, 2022
The vice president and chancellor, Marta Lucía Ramírez, assured that “there is a Follow-up Table for the Electoral Process abroad that accompanies embassies and consulates abroad 24 hours a day“.
Regarding the Miami case of “political campaigning,” he said: “The Consulate has already informed the local authorities about these circumstances and asked them to control these people so that they do not interfere with the development of the elections.”
Regarding Spain, the chancellor reported that “no formal complaints have been filed through the Immediate Reception Unit for Electoral Transparency, URIEL, ready to report irregularities. The Colombian Consulate in this city has informed us that the election day has passed with total normality and that there is enough electoral material, sent by the National Registry, which is delivered to the voters, as indicated by law.
(Also: Francia Márquez: the political phenomenon of these elections)
And about Canadathe statement indicates that “this irregularity transcends the responsibility of the Foreign Ministry and its officialssince the voting juries are the only ones who can manipulate the electoral material”.
The Foreign Ministry reported that there are no powers of irregularities to any official of that entity, but correspond to some jurors. Therefore, they decided to transfer the complaints to the Attorney General’s Office.
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