Venezuelan National Electoral Council, CNE, President Tibisay Lucena has declared that the governmental body is requesting international observers for the country's upcoming presidential election in April.
Out of the 11 points established in previous talks with the country's right-wing opposition, six are related to the electoral process and the CNE, including the demand for independent international observers.
“One of them was already accomplished by Venezuelan Ambassador Samuel Moncada, who formally handed in a petition to the U.N. Secretary General asking for an electoral accompaniment and observance by an international delegation for the next presidential elections,” Lucena said.
Lucena explained that “technicians from the CNE, external auditors, political organizations' technicians, national observers and companions from technical missions such as the Electoral Experts Commision of America (Ceela)” will be present in order to “guarantee the transparency of the electoral process.”
Today was the last day for new voters to register nationwide, but voters outside of Venezuela will have until Feb. 25 to register for voting. Lucena said every registered Venezuelan citizen over 18 years old will be able to vote in the next presidential election, whether or not they live in the country.
Regarding the external voting system, she added that “nothing has changed since 2000,” the first time Venezuela enabled voting from a foreign country.
She also announced that the raffle for the electoral service will be done on March 15, and “contemplates the participation of members of board, regional and municipal assemblies.”
The CNE is making an effort to comply with the proposed electoral chronology so the elections can be held next April 22.
“We're in compliance with every one of the points included in the agreement, but we're also working in the regular guarantees to make Venezuelan citizens feel confident about the voting process,” said the head of the electoral institute.
The electoral time table establishes that candidates will be able to register online between Feb. 24 and 26, and the nominations will be presented to the National Assembly on the next day.
The definitive electoral record will then be published on March 5. Political campaigns will take place between March 22 and April 19.
Luceno pointed out that the electoral process is an “opportunity to solve the problems and differences of the Venezuelan people in a peaceful way,” and called the Venezuelan people to freely participate in the presidential elections.