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Today's election day in Colombia, the quietest of the last decades, was overshadowed by allegations of irregularities on the part of left and right parties in the consultations to choose presidential candidates that run parallel to the elections for the Senate and Camera. 

Allegations of lack of transparency grew throughout the morning after numerous voters of the Uribe Democratic Center party and followers of the leftist Gustavo Petro agreed that in the polling stations there were not enough ballots to vote in the interparty consultations. 

The lack of ballots to vote for the right takes place in the electoral colleges of Bogota, Medellin, Cali, Barranquilla, Manizales, Cúcuta, Montería, Ibagué, Popayán, Bucaramanga, Cartago and other cities of the country, which led the Government to authorize the vote with photocopies for presidential consultations. 

The ex-president Álvaro Uribe and other members of his party, the Democratic Center, reported that in several polling stations his followers could not cast their vote in the referendum because the jurors told them that the ballots had run out. 

In the consultation of the coalition of the right they participate the senator Iván Duque, of the Democratic Center, and the conservatives Marta Lucía Ramírez and Alejandro Ordóñez. 

The one on the left has as candidates the ex-alcaldes Petro, from Bogotá, and Carlos Caicedo, from Santa Marta. 

According to Juan Carlos Galindo, head of the National Registry of Civil Status, the entity that organizes the elections, for which more than 36 million voters are authorized, 30 million cards of the presidential consultations were printed, 15 million for each one. 

"Clearly there was a problem of distribution of the electoral cards," responded Interior Minister Guillermo Rivera, who blamed the failures of the Registry. 

Be that as it may, allegations of fraud proliferate among candidates, voters and on social networks. 

By the middle of the afternoon, the "#fraude" label was among Twitter trends in Colombia.


One of the most bitter critics of what happened is Petro, who directly blamed President Juan Manuel Santos and candidate Germán Vargas Lleras, who was his vice president. 

"Definitive, Santos put his hands in the elections," he said in a message on Twitter, and in another he said: "These maneuvers by Vargas Lleras and his friend Santos are nothing more than an insult to democracy. " 

Caicedo, who also claimed the difficulties of his followers to vote in the consultation of the left: "I make a strong call to the authorities to avoid this clear act of corruption and disrespect for democracy." 

Among the right candidates there is also outrage over what happened, to the point that Duque, from the Democratic Center, called it "absolutely serious". 

Duque moved to the headquarters of the Ministry of Interior to demand guarantees because he considered that the Government should explain to the country "in what conditions you can vote with a photocopy" because in his opinion, the transparency of the process with that formula is not clear. 

In turn, Ramírez asked for the resignations of Santos and the national registrar because, in his opinion, "they are not honoring democracy." 

Ordonez, third in dispute in the consultation of the right, joined the complaints and asked citizens not to leave the polling stations until they are allowed to exercise their right to vote. 

The denunciations of "fraud" and "lack of transparency" contrast with the tranquility in which the electoral day takes place thanks to the peace agreement with the FARC and the unilateral ceasefire ordered for this occasion by the guerrilla of the National Liberation Army (THE N). 

According to the police, the only incident of public order in these elections occurred in the town of Francisco Pizarro, in the department of Nariño (southwest), where at the beginning of the day citizen protests for the lack of public services prevented the installation of nine seats of voting in rural areas.

Chronicles of Monte Friesner - Financial Crime Analyst

Contributed by La Estrella