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National Lawyers Guild Monitors: Venezuelan Elections Were Well-Organized, Fair and Transparent

NLG | April 16, 2013

A delegation of National Lawyers Guild (NLG) election monitors visited polling sites in five Venezuelan states on April 14 and found that the Venezuelan presidential election process was fair, transparent, participatory, and well-organized.

With over 78 percent voter turnout, Nicolas Maduro Moros was declared Venezuela’s new president with a 50.66 percent share of the 99.12 percent of votes counted.

“The U.S. would do well to incorporate some of the security checks and practices that are routine in Venezuela to improve both the level of participation and the credibility of our elections,” said NLG attorney Robin Alexander. She added, “The six polls I visited in the state of Carabobo were calm and well-organized and lines were short.”

The five-member NLG delegation formed part of a larger team of over 130 people, which included former presidents of Guatemala and the Dominican Republic, electoral commission members, journalists, and representatives of human rights organizations from across the globe. Election monitors traveled to polling places throughout the country on Election Day.

The NLG delegation found the following: advanced voting procedures that prevent fraud through multiple fingerprint and voter ID certifications; accurate and efficient digital and manual vote calculation; active participation by party witnesses and national and international observers.

In addition, the NLG monitors found a reliable system in which 54 percent of all votes are randomly audited on Election Day. NLG monitors witnessed one such audit in Caracas in which the paper ballots matched perfectly with the electronic votes.

As a U.S. organization, the NLG emphasizes that the margin of victory for Nicolas Maduro, while small, is comparable to close elections in the U.S., such as the margins of victory for John F. Kennedy in 1960 and for George W. Bush in 2004.

The NLG calls upon the U.S. to honor the Venezuelan election as the nations of the world honor U.S. elections without question. Moreover, as recognized by Jimmy Carter, Venezuela’s election infrastructure, with its secure electronic system backed by paper ballots, is “the best in the world,” and therefore deserves at least as much respect as our own.

As NLG member and international human rights law professor Daniel Kovalik states: “In the end, it is the Venezuelans who must decide their own future and leaders and the U.S., in the interest of democracy, must honor that decision.”

Azadeh Shahshahani
NLG President + 1 212 679 5100, ext. 15

On the ground in Venezuela:

Nicole Phillips Esq.,
+1 510 715 255, nicole@ijdh.org

Camilo A. Romero,
+1 510 717 4227

Daniel Kovalik,
+1 412 335 6442

Natali Segovia,
+1 602 796 7034

Robin Alexander,
+1 412 716 1696

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April 18, 2013 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Leave a comment

UNASUR Supports Venezuela’s Electoral System

Agencia Venezolana de Noticias | March 28, 2013

Chief of an electoral observation mission of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), Carlos Alvarez said Wednesday that Venezuela possesses a reliable and transparent electoral system that inspires “plenty of confidence”.

Alvarez said Venezuela’s election infrastructure satisfies the requirements of a free and fair democracy, reported Prensa Latina.

On April 14, the UNASUR Electoral Council will again observe Venezuelan elections, after first doing so last October.

On 7 October 2012, Alvarez recalled, there was high participation rate in Venezuela’s presidential elections, even though voting is not compulsory. In that process, Hugo Chavez won with 55.07 per cent of the ballot; 8,191,132 votes.

Secretary of the Latin American Integration Association (ALADI), Alvarez added that on April 14 he will chair “a neutral mission, which allows UNASUR to gather information, knowledge and experience to have a stronger Electoral Council.”

“As UNASUR has an Electoral Council fully joined to regional tasks, the self-determination of its electoral processes will be… more guaranteed in the region,” said Alvarez.

Alvarez said that initiatives such as the council remove the need for supervision from the so-called developed nations. “Less and less countries request… international observation [from] the developed world.”

Latin America, he said, “has eliminated electoral fraud and the military coup d’etat, which used to be two tools for the [r]ight to prevent popular processes.”

Concerning the recent passing of the leader of the Bolivarian Revolution, Hugo Chavez, he said that it “obviously left a very big emptiness, as in Venezuela as in Latin America, as in the rest of the world.”

Edited by Venezuelanalysis

March 30, 2013 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , | Leave a comment