CNE Director Ezequiel Zamora resigned today from the Electoral Board, fed up with being just a figurehead to allow the pro-Chávez majority to do whatever they wanted anyway. My only question is how come it was not done earlier. He mentioned many reasons, the fact that there was no audit on the day of the recall vote, that there was no willingness to do a full audit after the recall, the fact that the CNE can’t celebrate that people spent 13 hours in line. He said the CNE should plan for all Venezuelans to vote and not claim the process was so cumbersome because so many people voted and abstention was still 32%. He stated that what finally prompted him to resign was the fact that the Electoral Board last Friday, by the customary three-pro-Chavez to two-pro opposition votes, decided to migrate one million voters to new voting centers.
A year ago, when the Supreme Court named the Electoral Board after the National Assembly had failed to do so, Zamora was named as one of the principal members of the Electoral Board. Each Board member has its alternates. Zamora’s alternate is Miriam Kornblith. Kornblith worked for many years in the CNE and was part of its Board. However, Director Jorge Rodriguez has in the past not allowed her to replace Zamora when needed, arguing that she is “partisan to the opposition” because she worked to help the opposition gather the signatures. I guess he forgot how hard he worked to stop the signatures under the guise of his “impartiality”. Enough said that he voted with the pro-Chavez majority every single time the vote was split, so who is accusing who of partisanship?
But the law can be stretched as far as the Chavistas want in this revolution and we already have an opinion from the glorious and very partisan legal counsel to the Electoral Board, who already has said that the Supreme Court should name Zamora’s replacement and Kornblith should not fill Zamora’s position. Makes you wonder why there are even alternates to the Directors if their absence will be filled by someone new? But I guess it would be very convenient at this point to have a CNE with four pro-Chavez members, at least the headlines could say the CNE decided an issue “almost” by a unanimous vote and they will be able to do anything they want anyway.
Meanwhile, the other CNE Director who was not pro-Chavez said she would not resign, as she would not leave the “space that had been gained”. Others claim that AD wants her there as a way of guaranteeing that party will be able to obtain a majority of the City Halls of the country. She criticized CNE Director Rodriguez for his nationwide address last Friday, saying that if the majority of the members of the Board never even heard the accusations by the opposition that there was fraud, how could he go and, in the name of the CNE, give an opinion that never existed.
At this point, the CNE still refuses to count all of the ballots, past and present. They argued in the recall that the Electoral law did not apply because it was a referendum, not an election. Now they are arguing that it worked “so well(??)” they should follow the same process. Venezuelan electoral law says all votes have to be manually counted. But it is so much easier to cheat using the machines, that why bother?