Saturday, October 15, 2011

AMERICA: COLOMBIA: BISHOPS CONCERNED OVER FRAUD IN VOTING

Agenzia Fides REPORT - "Since the Church is present even in the farthest corner of Colombia, we know of vote buying, voter migration, counterfeit ballots and the fact that even the dead start to vote. We stress that none of these defects are eligible in the act of voting. We cannot agree with dishonest people": this is the alarm raised by the Episcopal Conference of Colombia in a letter addressed to President Juan Manuel Santos and other state authorities, on the eve of the elections of October 30. In the letter, Fides received, Mgr. Juan Vicente Córdoba, Secretary General of the Episcopal Conference, emphasizes that the Church's closeness with the people allowed to obtain delicate information of this kind, about the possible electoral gerrymandering. Monsignor Juan Vicente Córdoba calls on the Colombian people to pursue civic engagement towards voting with a transparent conscience and in favor of honest candidates: "We ask to have during elections, a clear conscience to choose honest candidates, correct and those who prefer the good of the country", he notes. The Bishops invite citizens to denounce vote buying, the movement of voters, the substitution of voters and other actions that may damage the democratic transparency of the vote.
The Episcopal Conference has announced that on Sunday, October 23, in all parishes of the country, a pastoral letter will be read that will provide the Catholic faithful and the Colombian people, some basic guidelines: the objective is to ensure that elections can effectively contribute to a more democratic nation building, fair and united. The Church emphasizes the fight against poverty and corruption, respect for human life and the true nature of the family: key criteria, according to the Bishops, which should help to discern the programs of the various political parties and candidates. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 15/10/2011)

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