Tuesday, November 30

Elections in Venezuela have been held in better conditions than in previous years, according to EU observers

It has been 15 years since the European Union participated for the last time as an observer in an electoral process in Venezuela. The interval ended last Sunday, when the Electoral Observation Mission of the European Union arrived in the country to supervise the development of the regional and municipal elections.

This Tuesday, the head of the mission, the Portuguese Isabel Santos, presented the preliminary report and clarified that the mission is “independent, neutral and impartial.” “The elections have been implemented in better conditions compared to the previous electoral processes,” said Santos, who defined the elections as a “first and crucial test for the return of the majority of opposition parties to electoral competition.”

The European mission considers that Sunday’s elections have been an advance for Venezuela, despite detecting irregularities in the process.

“The National Electoral Council (CNE), which was renewed in May 2021, is seen as the most balanced electoral administration that Venezuela has had in the last 20 years,” said the head of the mission. However, “the campaign was marked by the extensive use of State resources. Despite the fact that the legal framework establishes sanctioning powers in financing and publicity of the campaigns, the CNE did not sanction the violations.”

“Our mission has been able to verify the lack of judicial independence, the non-adherence to the rule of law and that some laws affected the equality of conditions and the transparency of elections.”

The mission

Since October 14, 136 European observers, from 22 EU countries, have visited more than 1,300 polling stations across the country. Observers stressed that they have witnessed “checkpoints”, known as “red dots”, despite the prohibition explained by the CNE.

“The CNE has responded, with professionalism and a spirit of cooperation, to our requests,” said Santos, who in turn highlighted that all European guests have adapted to the code of conduct of the Declaration of Principles on International Electoral Observation, signed in 2005, in New York.

Isabel Santos, excited as she spoke, stressed that international missions should not be an instrument of interference in the internal life of countries, insisted on the importance of a political dialogue between the Government and the opposition and stressed that the completion of the scrutiny. Based on that, the mission plans to present the final report at the end of January 2022.


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