[News] International observers ratify transparency, legitimacy of Venezuelan vote

Anti-Imperialist News News at freedomarchives.org
Tue Dec 6 20:25:36 EST 2005

Published: Monday, December 05, 2005
Bylined to: <mailto:editors at venezuelanalysis.com>Venezuelanalysis

International observers ratify transparency, legitimacy of Venezuelan vote

Venezuelanalysis.com: International observers 
from the electoral commissions of El Salvador, 
Colombia, Panama, Uruguay, and Nicaragua have 
declared their support of the National Assembly vote in Venezuela.

“Democracy is constructed by those who 
participate, thus the withdrawal 
 of the 
opposition parties does not de-legitimize the 
parliamentary elections,” said Eugenio Chicas, a 
magistrate of the electoral council of El Salvador.
    * In the past week, four important opposition 
parties publicly declared their boycott of the 
December 4 election for the National Assembly, 
citing lack of trust in the National Electoral Council.

President Chavez and his supporters, though, say 
that their withdrawal is an effort to 
de-legitimize the vote in the face of near-certain defeat at the polls.

While the parties that withdrew are among the 
country’s largest, the Electoral Council 
announced that only 10% of the candidates up for 
election had formalized their withdrawal.

According to Chicas, the opposition boycott “in 
no way” de-legitimizes the vote because the 
observers believe that there are adequate 
technical conditions and is one of the most 
audited and certified votes in Latin America.

The magistrate of the electoral council of 
Panama, Erasmo Pinilla, said that the withdrawal 
of key opposition parties from the National 
Assembly election “is unheard of in the Latin 
American continent,” especially after Venezuela’s 
National Electoral Council conceded to the 
opposition’s demand not to use the fingerprint scanners.

For Pinilla, though, the removal of the 
fingerprint scanner represents a serious step 
backwards because it is “fundamental” for 
transparency and guarantees that no one votes more than once.

Pinilla went on to explain that the opposition 
party Primero Justicia, which withdrew in the 
last minute, despite earlier assurances it would 
participate, was largely due to concerns it had 
about conflict with the other opposition parties 
that had already declared their withdrawal. Also 
Primero Justicia does not have sufficient 
elections observers to replace the opposition 
observers that would no longer participate 
because of the other parties’ withdrawal.

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