Members of the Young Citizens’ Platform of the Study Center for Democracy – CESPAD – are denouncing verbal aggression and intimidation they have been subjected to by National Party activists, who have tried to manipulate the polling stations in places where they are conducting electoral observation.
The first complaint was made by Carlos Matute , who reported that in the Clara Barton preschool center in the city of La Ceiba , several recognized National Party activists approached the observers, saying : “Do you know where you’re standing? You don’t even know what area you’re in. I would think twice about being here .”
This statement was made to Carlos Matute, an observer from CESPAD who was officially accredited by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), who also added, “While they were saying this to us, the former candidate for the municipality of La Ceiba , who is part Miguel Pastor’s movement, of the National Party, kept his hand on my shoulder, squeezing very hard. ”
Matute said the intimidation occurred because in the morning , a complaint was made because one of the urns in this polling place contained one hundred ballots which had already been marked with their votes. The observers were quick to report what was happening, while the urns in question were confiscated. This situation greatly disturbed the accused, who then made intimidating statements towards the observers of the electoral process.
In Tegucigalpa , observers in the Mayangle neighborhood are subject to intimidation
In the Renacimiento high school, one of the voting centers located in the Mayangle neighborhood of Tegucigalpa, Cintya Raquel Fiallos Palencia, one of the CESPAD observers, has denounced the constant intimidation by members of the National Party, who are in a tent distributing food to all the members of the voting table at this center.
“They are pointing at us and questioning our presence here. It is an act of intimidation, which should not happen, especially when you’re talking about making these elections transparent, ” said Fiallos , who is part of the group of unofficial observers as part of the Citizen Platform of CESPAD , and who is subject to legal restrictions as an observer, but can observe from a distance.
“Even so, they want us to leave, and to leave empty all of the perimeter. They’re even taking photos of me,” added Fiallos , who said she felt intimidated by being constantly pointed out and by the appeals that she should leave the voting center.