The law says it, the Supreme Court ratifies it, but it doesn’t apply to Chavistas?

August 11, 2008


Curious that a
Chavista Deputy goes to the Supreme Court to ask for an injunction to  block the opposition  mayor of Naguanagua in Carabobo State
from running to be mayor of the city of Valencia and the Court accepts the
injunction and nullifies an article allowing people within a single
municipality to run in the other, but in the process ratifies that candidates
have to be residents of the city they are running in for the least the last three years.

Curious because if the
idea was to block opposition candidate Julio Castillo of Proyecto Venezuela
from running, with the decision the court also reminds the CNE about the three
year rule which applies (And was not respected) to two of Chavez’ most visible candidates in the
Metropolitan Area of Caracas who are in the same situation, former CNE President and country’s Vice=President Jorge Rodriguez for
the Libertador District of Caracas and fomer multi-Minister Jesse Chacon in the Sucre District.

The Court is clear, in
reasoning the case of the municipalities
, it says:

“A propósito de lo anterior, el artículo 85 de
la Ley Orgánica del Poder Público Municipal exige como uno de los requisitos
para ser Alcalde o Alcaldesa residir en el municipio de que se trate, durante
al menos los tres (3) últimos años previos a su elección”

which can be translated
as:

Speaking of the above, Article 85 of the Ley Organiz del Poder Publico
Municipal, demands as one of the prerequisites to be Mayor to reside in the
municipality involved during at least the last three years prior to the
election… .”

What is most puzzling
is that the decision seems to go against precedents in Metropolitan areas which
are regulated by the Suffrage law which gives a wider definition of residence
to the whole Metropolitan area, while it is the Constitution which requires the
three years of residence in the city for which the person is running for Mayor.

Of course, maybe the
whole thing is a Machiavellic plot by Chavismo to get rid of two candidates who
reportedly are not taking off and replace them without giving an image of
division or dissent within Chavez’s PSUV.

In fact, a pro-Chávez
member of the Electoral Board said the CNE would have to respect the decision,
while the lonely voice of the opposition within the CNE Vicente Diaz, said that
the CNE should appeal the decision as the exception for Metropolitan areas has
been used in previous elections.

But then, just when I
am puzzling over the whole thing, out comes Jesse Chacon and saying it doesn’t
apply to “us” because they have never been Mayors, as if the residence
requirement had anything to do with the Art. 85 mentioned above. The law
happens to be the law.

But who knows, maybe
the CNE will allow Rodriguez and Chacon to run and block Castillo, since the
law is not applied uniformly in the revolution. Of course, now comes the President of
the CNE
and backs Chacon’s interpretation.

Does Article 85 of the
above mentioned law only exist if the Court rules that it exists?

Not much surprises me
any more.

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