Strong reaction to CNE decision on the audit of the Electoral Registry

June 8, 2006

As pro-Chavez groups threw tear gas at Teodoro Petkoff after his presentation at Universidad Central de Venezuela (Do I hear there is democracy here from any PSF reader?), opposition figures have begun to assume their positions on the issue of the REP audit. Petkoff himself in his Editorial in Tal Cual said “The decison by the Board of the CNE goes in the sense opposite to offering guarantees for electoral particiapation, which have been so severely damaged in the last few years, as evidenced by the election last December”. Later he said “It is unaceptable for them to propose such an audit of the registry which is nothing but a joke, not serious and which shows a lack of respect for Venezuelans. We should protest it with lots of energy”.

Meanwhile Zulia Governor Manuel Rosales said that his party Nuevo Tiempo will do an independent and parallel audit of the Electoral Registry (REP). Primero Justicia candidate Julio Borges called for the three universities excluded from the process to do their independent audit using the 2005 registry. COPEI’s candidate Sergio Omar Calderon said the decision is ” a blow to the trust of the voters and weakens even more the possibility of going to an electoral process which is transparent and can be trusted”.

Thus, there will be a battle. Once again, Rosales comes up with the most politically savy proposal, let’s do our own audit and we will see. That ought to worry the Chavista members of the CNE.

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