Archive for December 16th, 2003

Another church attacked

December 16, 2003

Another attack on a church, the same church in Los Teques where a Molotov cocktail was thrown last week, was attacked past midnight last night when gasoline was sprayed  in front of it and set on fire. The gate and the roof were damaged.

CNE rejects changes in regulations

December 16, 2003

The National Electoral Council announced today that it had unanimously decided not to modify the regulations for the evaluation and validation of the signatures for the request for a recall referendum. The decision closes the door on an additional source of tricks. Carrasquero said that the CNE would not change the rules in the middle of the game, but it failed to disclose why it was that the issue was even considered in the first place. In fact, the pro-Chavez forces had brought a proposal for change which was countered by a different proposal. In the end neither was approved and the regulations were left as approved before the petition drives by both sides took place. This seems to be the logical decision and there was definitely something sinister behind the proposed changes.

The opposition also announced that it will hand in the signatures on Friday. No matter what anyone says, the pro-Chavez forces which gathered fewer signatures a week earlier than the opposition have yet to submit theirs, but the Chavistas keep criticizing. The total number of sigantures to be handed in will be 3,467,050, after the names crossed out and the bad forms were eliminated. The total numbers of signatures processed today had topped 2.6 million with about 600,000 to go.

Separately, the OAS submitted a proposal to the CNBE on its role in the verification process. Twom months ago, any foreign or international particiaption was rejected outright, by now it is a given that it will be present guaranteeing the transparency of the process.