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    President Nicolas Maduro | Photo: Telesur

Published 1 December 2020
Opinion

Indira Alfonso, president of the National Electoral Council of Venezuela, spoke to Telesur about the upcoming parliamentary elections to be held in Venezuela this Sunday, December 6th.

Interviewed by Telesur, Indira Alfonso, president of Venezuela's National Electoral Council, indicated that special conditions are set, from a logistical and technical perspective, for the critical Dec 6 parliamentary elections to be held this Sunday in Venezuela.

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Over 20 million Venezuelans are called to cast their votes for a new National Assembly that has been in contempt for several years. Fourteen thousand two hundred voting centers, 30 000 tables will take in the people to cast their votes for over 14 000 national and regional candidates to make up the new Assembly.

Indira reassured Telesur of the biosecurity measures in place for the population amid the Covid 19 pandemic. She claimed that all guarantees in terms of safety and biosecurity would cover 100 percent of the country's polling places, reinforced further in border regions.

She added the process, calls for handwashing, masks, physical distancing, and an I.D. card. Voters will be limited to 2 or 3 per station at any given time, and the entire process will take less than 2 minutes.

She also spoke of the voting machines used in the process, designed and made in Venezuela, internationally tested and certified. Alongside audits of the devices, 17 in total, the last one related to their biosecurity, following a process carried out in some other 66 countries.

The NEC president stressed the importance of this year's election when legislative power would be renewed, vital for its governability. It added that the entire system is entirely verifiable, pre, during, and post-election. An unusual element in the verification process is a citizen verification audit, which few countries can boast of, a random audit system done on election day by selected participants.

Referring to international oversight of the elections, she added that over 1570 people had been credited to accompany and verify the process's authenticity, belonging to 6 ONGs credited by the NEC. This they can accomplish through in-person and remote auditing.

As part of the international monitoring, Indira said, over 200 witnesses, personalities, academics, regional groups' representatives,  and election experts from several countries had been invited and would begin arriving shortly in the country. In this group, there will be representatives, among others, from the Puebla Group, CARICOM, and the diplomatic corps stationed in the country and Russia, Turkey, the European Parliament, and the U.S. and Canada.

Asked about the interest and attention gathered worldwide about these elections, despite not being presidential elections, she expressed that the NEC was pleased with the awareness generated and viewed it as a challenge, which allowed the world to witness the vocation for democracy, hope, and peaceful ways of the Venezuelan people. She also dismissed recent commentaries ahead of the elections about possible fraud, issued by groups in the U.S. and the EU and manifested that Venezuela can exhibit an open door policy exuding plurality and diversity. 

As to the opposition, she expressed that the atmosphere, range of options, and sharing of spaces leading up to the elections' organization were based on respect. Differences were sorted out respectfully. There has been a fluid process that the media in Venezuela, both public and private, has reflected so that Venezuelans can express their political diversity.

Finally, on election day details, she conveyed that voting centers will open at 6 am and remain open until 6 pm, a historic tradition. Voting centers will evaluate the presence of voters around closing time and may stay open a little longer. Because of the automated system, as tables close, we get results. "On Sunday night, results will be known,"  she concluded. 

Given recent sabotages carried out by the opposition's most radical elements, she expressed that the organization of the event contemplated technical solutions in case of power outages. That independent sources of power would be provided to run from 8 to 10 hours to guarantee energy services and data services to be ready and sent to the national data center before the end of the day to announce the winning candidates to become deputies to the National Assembly.

Telesur will broadcast special coverage of the elections throughout the day.
 

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