A delegation from the Carter Center which is already in Venezuela, will witness the mock election that the National Electoral Council (CNE) will carry out this Sunday, October 10, and will evaluate possible participation as an observer organization in the regional and municipal elections scheduled for November 21, announced on of the rectors of that electoral body, Roberto Picón.
“At this moment there is a team from the Carter Center visiting Venezuela,” said Picón in an interview on the local radio station Unión Radio. “We have met with them on a couple of occasions, they will be there during the drill and the idea is that they can determine in what condition they would come [as observers in the elections].”
According to the CNE, the Carter Center delegation is headed by Jennie Lincoln, senior advisor on peace initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean; Andrea Nelli Feroci, associate director of the Democracy program; and Salvador Romero, consultant.
In 2019, the Carter Center had released a statement expressing its “concern about government interference in recent electoral processes.”
The Carter Center has not officially observed elections in Venezuela since 2004.
Regarding international observation, Picón indicated that the CNE is also holding talks with the United Nations (UN) to send a technical electoral team.
“There have also been talks with people from the United Nations,” informed Picón. “A technical team that may be sent by the General Secretariat, and the idea is that all these missions, if they all come through in the end, would complement each other to give a global vision of the quality of the choice in its different technical and political variables.”
Regarding the Electoral Observation Mission of the European Union (EU), Picón stressed that it will be deployed this month to start its work with the electoral campaigns of the candidates.
“The Electoral Observation Mission of the European Union will observe the entire process that starts from this month,” he explained. “Initially there will be 64 long-term observers who will stay throughout the electoral campaign.”
The rector explained that it is expected that the EU mission will deploy over 100 members in total for the November elections.
“By the time of the election, 32 more members will come, plus 20 who will be hired locally to provide additional support, so that we will have more than 100 people throughout the country to assess the conditions of the campaign initially and then on the day of the vote,” he explained.
Since 2017, the EU has ignored the electoral processes taking place in Venezuela, arguing a lack of credibility and transparency, irrespective of the fact that Venezuelan authorities have always encouraged and facilitated their participation.
This will be the first time since 2006 that the European Union will send observers for an election in Venezuela.
Police officers and the Bolivarian National Armed Force (FANB) will be deployed in the 446 electoral centers that have been authorized by the CNE for the mock vote this Sunday, announced the Ministry of the Interior, Justice and Peace.
“The officials of the citizen security organizations will support the members of the CEOFANB [Operational Strategic Command of the Bolivarian National Armed Force] for the security of the 446 voting centers authorized by the CNE in all entities of the national territory,” the ministry informed through its Twitter account.
The Minister of Interior, Justice and Peace, Remigio Ceballos, stated that the security agencies will carry out patrolling and monitoring during and after the mock election to “prevent any irregular situation that may arise, and act decisively and accordingly.”
The CNE had already announced on October 5 that it will deploy over 3,000 officials of the national electoral body for the mock vote. This is part of Plan República (Republic Plan), the security operation that has been carried out in every Venezuelan election for the last 50 years to protect the vote and safeguard the voting process in Venezuela.
The National Electoral Council explained that the purpose of the voting drill is to test all the technical, logistical and operational elements of the automated voting system, as well as to let voters get familiarized with the voting equipment that will be used in the November 21 elections.
In the nationnwide regional and municipal elections, 70,244 candidates are registered to participate. A total of 21,159,846 Venezuelans will vote in these elections.
The CNE has reported that the European Union (EU) and the Latin American Council of Electoral Experts (CEELA) have already regsitered to participate as official international observers.
Meanwhile, a delegation from the Carter Center is in Venezuela to witness the mock voting and evaluate its possible participation as an international observer in the November 21 elections.
Featured image: Voter inserting a voting receipt in CNE’s security box. Photo: Carlos García Rawlins / Reuters
(Sputnik) with Orinoco Tribune content
Translation: Orinoco Tribune