The President of the CNE, Jorge Rodriguez, just recognized in a
radio interview that abstention is large. Some Chavista leaders have
been saying all day that abstention was low, as lines showed exactly the
opposite. International observers mentioned 90% abstention but we will
have to wait for real numbers. The Government first extended voting hours
until 6 PM and now they have extended it until 7 PM, claiming more voters were mobilizing, but
nobody could see them. A reporter in the Government’s TV channel said
that the hours were extended “to allow the militants to vote” in another
example of its independence. Venezuelan law says that
voting hours may be extended only if there are still people waiting to
vote, but the law has become spurious now in almost daily life in our country. Not a
pretty day for Venezuelan democracy.
Note added (20 minutes later): Gerardo Blyde of Priemro Justicia holds a press conference to point out what I said above, the law allows for polls to be open beyond 4 PM, only if there are people waiting in line.