Caracas (OrinocoTribune.com)—The Venezuelan National Assembly’s (AN) Electoral Nominations Committee published a list of 153 nominees for rectors of the National Electoral Council (CNE).
On Monday, July 31, the AN released the 153 names nominated by the Law and Political Sciences faculties at Venezuela’s top universities, the Citizen Power, and civil society organizations. The faculties of Law and Political Sciences nominated 27 individuals, 29 were nominated by the Citizen Power, and 97 were nominated by civil society organizations (NGOs).
In Venezuela, the Citizen Power is one of the five branches of the state. It is comprised of the Attorney General’s Office, the Comptroller General’s Office, and the Ombudsman’s Office.
The CNE board is comprised of five principal rectors and 10 alternates. On June 15, the majority of the CNE rectors resigned. Days later, the remainder of the board, notably those sympathetic to the Venezuelan far-right opposition, followed suit.
According to the opposition, the resignation of the CNE board was the main motive for the opposition primaries to be “self-managed” by the Opposition Primaries Commission (CNP) instead of being organized with CNE technical assistance. This is despite CNE announcing that the outgoing authorities would continue holding their posts and conducting institutional work until a new board is appointed. A new board is expected to be appointed approximately by mid-September, according to constitutional timing.
At the time of the resignation, several political analysts stated that many current rectors may hold positions on the new board. The opposition leadership’s decision to abandon CNE’s technical assistance has seriously jeopardized the success of the opposition primaries.
El Comité de Postulaciones Electorales 2023 de la Asamblea Nacional dio a conocer los nombres de los postulados para ocupar los cargos de rectores principales y sus respectivos suplentes del Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE). pic.twitter.com/Qf8J8AlF4q
— Asamblea 🇻🇪 (@Asamblea_Vzla) July 31, 2023
With the publication of the first list of nominees, the next constitutional step—the evaluation process—begins this week. The submitted resumes will be verified and certified, and interviews of the nominees will begin. Likewise, background checks of each candidate will be performed. At the end of this step, which should not last more than 20 calendar days, a second, depurated list of nominees should be published in local newspapers.
The next step of the process is the objection stage. In this step, objections against any nominee can be filed to the AN’s Nomination Committee. Anonymity is not accepted, and credible evidence of non-compliance with any requirements must be submitted in writing.
After this period, the final list prepared by the Nomination Committee is passed to the AN’s plenary to vote on who will be the new rectors. According to Art. 296 of the Constitution, the new authorities must be approved by two-thirds of the votes.
Who is who
From this first list of nominees, opposition sympathizers Roberto Picón and Enrique Márquez and Chavista Alexis Corredor stand out. These three nominees are rectors in the outgoing CNE board. Current CNE President Pedro Calzadilla was not on the list.
Director of the Administrative Service of Identification, Migration and Foreigners (Saime) Gustavo Vizcaino, former Minister of University Education César Trompiz, who currently serves as ambassador in Bolivia, and Comptroller General Elvis Amoroso are notable names on the list.
Other recognizable names in this first list of nominees include Saúl Bernal, Leonel Párica, Rafael Chacón, Francisco Garcés and Carlos Quintero, who are all alternate rectors in the outgoing board.
Orinoco Tribune Special by staff