More folklore from the CNE

January 19, 2005

The folklore surrounding the decisions by the Venezuelan Electoral Board has now become so legendary that last week humorist Laureano Marquez suggested the CNE might decide that Carlos Andres Perezí election in 1998 will be declared void by the current CNE, only as a way of making sure that Chavezí coup can no longer be characterized as one and give firm ground to our Presidentís accusation against the opposition.

Such is the folklore that I actually forgot to report that the CNE decided last week to declare void the election b the CTV, the Confederation of Unions. Now, understand these union elections are not very recent, they took place in 2001, but actually the current leadership of CTV has already called for new elections to replace those that won at that time three years ago.


Today, Provea, a human rights organization that our distinguished* President used to quote often when he was only a candidate held a press conference to point out how this decision by the CNE violates not only the law, but the right to unionize freely. This right is actually guaranteed by Article 95 of the Venezuelan Constitution.


But it also violates the Agreement with the International labor Organization, which actually has constitutional hierarchy, according to which public authorities have to abstain from participating in the administration or activities relation to unions and the freedom of labor association.


CTV decided today to walk a very fine line and used the regulations of the CNE but control its own electoral process. We are sure this will not be allowed by the Chavez Government who despises unions. But in the end it will all depend on the final result. Last time around, the anti-Chavez leaders of CTV took over 50% of the vote versus 19% by the pro-Chavze candidate and current Minister of Education Aristobulo Isturiz.


*adjective used to comply with the new Penal Code.


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