Unasul seeks support from TSE to follow up electoral processes in South America

Min. Toffoli and Dr. Ernersto Samper

The General Secretary of the Union of South American Nations (Unasul), Ernersto Samper, visited on November 10 (Monday) the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), and was received by Minister Dias Toffoli in his office. The purpose of the visit was to guarantee the participation of representatives of the Brazilian Electoral Court System in a support unit for following up and observing electoral processes in South American countries, to be created within the scope of the Electoral Commission of such international agency.
During conversation with the President of TSE, Ernesto Samper, who was President of Colombia from 1994 to 1998, showed great interest in knowing more about the Brazilian electoral system. The periodicity and regularity of elections in Brazil, registration of voters and process for implementing the electronic vote were some of the topics discussed during the hearing.
The Secretary pointed out the importance of Brazil’s support for the initiative of Unasul, showing that the Brazilian electoral college – that in 2014 had over 142 million voters and is the world’s fourth largest college – corresponds to 40% of voters of all of South America. He affirmed: “Elections are essential for democracy. One democracy without elections is not a democracy at all”. Ernesto Samper further stated: “Therefore, the technological development that exists in Brazil, which was seen in the last elections’ results, its capacity to conduct the process, and its system for verifying and solving problems constitute an extremely valuable experience for Unasul”.
Minister Dias Toffoli accentuated the willingness of the Brazilian Electoral Court to cooperate with missions for following up and observing elections for which it is invited – representatives of TSE were in Guyana in 2011, in Paraguay and Venezuela in 2013 and in Colombia and Bolivia this year. He also reminded that the Brazilian Electoral Court System already made all Brazilian election laws available for consultation of the other countries, which constituted exchange of practices and knowledge, aiming at contributing to democracy in the continent.
According to assessment of the President of TSE, the visit of the General Secretary of Unasul is extremely significant, as well as the integration of South American countries. He concluded: “The idea of building a unit of South American nations requires all agencies and institutions to exchange experiences and relations. In view of that, by visiting this Court, Unasul itself stresses the importance of this need perceived by all of us”.