Within the framework of the III International Forum of Santo Domingo (carried out in the Dominican Republic between January 28 and 30, 2015), Daniel Zovatto, Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), held a working meeting last January 30 with President Danilo Medina in the National Palace. During this meeting, Dr. Zovatto explained the work that International IDEA has been implementing in the Dominican Republic, jointly with the Central Electoral Board and the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, in close collaboration with political parties and the Congress. At the same time he thanked President Medina for the valuable support that, as a member country of International IDEA, the Dominican Republic provides to this Institute.
Daniel Zovatto, Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean of International IDEA and Juan Fernando Cristo, Minister of Interior of Colombia
At another moment in the meeting, accompanied by former presidents Laura Chinchilla (Costa Rica), Luis Alberto Lacalle Herrera (Uruguay), Carlos Mesa (Bolivia), and Manuel Zelaya (Honduras), the Dominican and Latin American contexts were analyzed.
For his part Dr. Zovatto signed a cooperation agreement last February 3 with Juan Fernando Cristo, Colombia's Minister of the Interior. This instrument defines the legal basis for cooperation between both institutions in the sphere of Colombia's political-electoral reform. The first activity stemming from this agreement will be an international seminar on electoral issues to be held in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, between March 3 and 7, 2015.
Daniel Zovatto with President Danilo Medina of the Dominican Republic and former presidents and vice president of Bolivia, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Honduras and Guatemala
Likewise, during the week of February 2, Dr. Zovatto visited Panama, Peru and Bolivia. In Panama, he had a meeting with the Magistrates of the Electoral Tribunal (whose acronym in Spanish is TE) with whom he agreed upon the working agenda for the cooperation that International IDEA has been providing to the TE and to the Electoral Reform Commission, among them a seminar on comparative experiences (Chile and Mexico) regarding financing of politics.
In Lima, Dr. Zovatto, accompanied by Dr. Percy Medina, Head of the Peruvian Office, held a working meeting on February 4 with Dr. Francisco Távara, President of the National Electoral Jury (whose acronym in Spanish is JNE), to start preparatory activities for the Seventh Ibero-American Conference on Electoral Justice to be held in Cusco, Peru between July 1 and 5, 2015.
Dr. Daniel Zovatto, Dr. Francisco Távara and Dr. Percy Medina
The journey of the Regional Director ended in La Paz, Bolivia, with a working meeting held on February 4 with David Choquehuanca, the Chancellor of Bolivia, during which Dr. Zovatto submitted his credentials, accrediting him as Head of Mission of International IDEA in that country. He also explained the principal strategic lines of International IDEA's work in Bolivia, thanked Chancellor Choquehuanca for the support of his Government, and reiterated International IDEA's commitment to continue collaborating closely with Bolivian institutions.