Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE) has hit back at the right-wing opposition’s refusal to recognize the results of forthcoming parliamentary elections, saying that to do so is a rejection of the will of the people, and highlighted their contradiction in taking part in elections they claim are fraudulent.
Speaking exclusively to teleSUR, CNE director, Tania D’Amelio said that the agreement to respect the results of the Dec. 6 elections signed by some parties, was a “recognition of institutionality, respect for sovereignty, respect for laws and the constitution, established here in Venezuela.”
“The only people who validate the electoral process are the Venezuelans,” she said.
Opposition alliance MUD announced they would not sign an agreement proposed by UNASUR to recognize the results. The international organization is in Venezuela on a mission to monitor the election.
“We are not going to sign any agreement that might be a blank cheque, and regretably there could be people from outside that still believe in the government. We do not believe in it,” Freddy Guevara, whose Popular Will party forms part of the coalition, said on Saturday.
D’Amelio pointed out that the MUD themselves used the CNE’s structure and machinery for its internal elections.
“How can we then say in this moment that we are a fraudulent institution when you use this structure in your internal election?” she asked.
“There are some people who have discredited the institution … but there are some, including opposition sectors who have signed up to the electoral registration, so how contradictory!” she added.
The Venezuelan electoral system is thumbprint activated, fully automated, and auditable at every stage, leaving the CNE certain that committing electoral fraud is almost impossible.
“So the strength of our process, apart from being automated, is that it is audited more than 23 times. And the auditing isn’t just done by the CNE, but it is always accompanied by political organizations,” said D’Amelio.
It seems that Venezuelans themselves have faith in the electoral system and body.
“The Venezuelan electoral system is one of the best in the world,” Caracas pensioner Hernan Soto told teleSUR. “There is no possibility of fraud in our electoral system. Jimmy Carter said it was the best system in the world. So I invite all the Venezuelan population to vote with confidence and to respect the decision.”
Denouncing alleged fraud has become routine practise for the opposition in Venezuela. In the 2013 presidential election, right-wing candidate Henrique Capriles claimed that President Nicolas Maduro’s win was illegitimate due to irregularities, and demanded a recount. The audit revealed the same result and Capriles was unable to offer any serious proof of foul play.