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Volume 449: debated on Wednesday 19 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what observation of the recent elections in Mexico was undertaken by her Department (a) directly and (b) through the EU; what the cost was of (i) the observation and (ii) the UK contribution to it; where the observers were deployed; and what conclusions were reached. (84945)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has not been involved in formal election observation of the recent elections in Mexico, although 10 officials from our embassy in Mexico City and one from our consulate in Monterrey registered as Foreign Visitors with the Mexican Federal Electoral Institute. They did not observe any significant irregularities.

The EU undertook a formal Electoral Observation Mission (EOM) to Mexico for the recent elections. They had around 80 observers from 21 members states (including one from the UK). The EU observers were deployed to 31 states and the federal district in Mexico. The EOM issued a preliminary declaration on 3 July and a press statement on 7 July which, among other things, makes clear the electoral institutions in Mexico have behaved with professionalism, transparency and independence. The EOM will remain in Mexico until 20 July and will then produce a final report. The budget allocated to this EOM to Mexico under the European Initiative for Democratisation and Human Rights (EIDHR) budget is €2,474,034. The UK contribution to the EIDHR budget is approximately 17 per cent.