The Thick of It: TEKOJOJA, Voting, Fraud w/Impunity.

TEKOJOJA's headquarters has a vine-covered patio facing the street where volunteers with cell-phones are busy communicating with observers and lawyers as they record attempts at fraud and voting irregularities. The fear is that the ruling party, threatened after more than 60 years of uninterrupted rule, will succeed in using its machine of intimidation and outright fraud to steal the election that Lugo supporters. Tekojoja is a popular movement made up of groups from almost every social sector (workers, peasants, intellectuals, the right, the left), which in and of itself testifies to the broad appeal of the platform for change and honest government.

The mood at the headquarters is high, with tremendous excitement, as word spreads that Lugo is ahead by 6 points, at the least… This with massive amounts of fraud. These observers from Uruguay at a voting station we visited this afternoon, when we asked if they’d seen anything irregular, responded emphatically that they’d seen massive fraud.

Here (from ABC Color, Paraguayan press) you can see a Colorado official (notice his red shirt) caught in the very act of paying people for their vote. He was not removed from the scene.

And at another school/voting station which we visited this afternoon, one of my companions saw a soldier cast his vote. Apparently, it’s illegal for someone in uniform to vote. There were no observers at this second station and after I arrived with a video camera, filming and taking photos, these soldiers casually strolled out of the voting center.

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2 Responses to The Thick of It: TEKOJOJA, Voting, Fraud w/Impunity.

Kwame said...

I wonder how much they pay per vote, and who decides how much a vote is worth. Also, did the ruling party expect a close election, and therefore have time to plan out their election day operations, or is it a more haphazard effort?

alicia said...

Could you post the time of the photo? It has been long supplanted by newer posts and I didn't see it on a scan of the first few pages of posts....


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