Caracas (OrinocoTribune.com)—The president of Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE), Elvis Amoroso, announced that the CNE has presented a framework of technical assistance for the opposition primaries to the National Primaries Commission (CNP). He added that the proposal includes a tentative date for the opposition’s primary elections, which is Sunday, November 19.
The CNE also proposed the use of automated voting equipment, voting center teams, data validation process, delivery of voting supplies, and the installation of polling stations: the same procedure that would be applied in the presidential elections of 2024, said Amoroso on Thursday, September 28.
Autoridades electorales que integran la Comisión Técnica Mixta para la primaria de la Plataforma Unitaria, hicieron entrega de una propuesta de apoyo técnico a los miembros de la Comisión Nacional de Primaria de la Plataforma Unitaria pic.twitter.com/MnckOiwjyH
— cneesvenezuela (@cneesvzla) September 28, 2023
Amoroso added that the CNE also proposed increasing the number of voting centers, so that more people could participate with greater convenience in the opposition’s internal election, which is still officially scheduled for October 22.
The CNE president highlighted that it is important to automate all processes in order to generate public trust and transparency in the opposition’s primary election.
Some opposition analysts have questioned the latest CNE initiative, arguing that it was a delayed response to a request originally made in July. Those analysts forgot to add that it was the opposition CNP that announced on June 16 that they opted for carrying out their internal election without CNE’s technical support, just a few hours after announcing that they had decided to organize the process with CNE assistance.
"Hay esta propuesta del CNE y es nuestro deber presentarla a los actores políticos y discutirla en la Comisión. Según la decisión a la que se llegue formalizar nuestros planteamientos ante el CNE", explicó @jesusmariacasal a @RLOZINSKI pic.twitter.com/APL0EykFNN
— Comisión Nacional de Primaria VE (@cnprimariave) September 29, 2023
On Friday, September 29, CNP president Jesús María Casal stated during a radio interview that the CNP will discuss the proposal with the candidates and all the political sectors participating in the opposition’s electoral process.
“It is our duty to present the proposal to the political groups, and after we reach a conclusion we will let the CNE know about our decision,” Casal said. “Depending on the consensus of the candidates and the parties, it will be decided whether it makes sense to move forward with this proposal or not.”
He announced that on Friday and Saturday, the CNP will listen to the candidates’ proposals and counter-proposals regarding the technical assistance of the CNE. Casal added that the original schedule has not been suspended, therefore “the conditions are in place to hold the elections on October 22.”
Despite Casal’s statements, many analysts consider the problems with the resignation of several CNP state coordinators, issues with voting centers, issues with the database used for the process, and other issues, there are no real conditions for a successful and credible electoral process. That explains the CNP’s willingness to consider the CNE proposal.
Most opposition political forces have welcomed the CNE proposal as a sign of consistency and a source of a credible outcome. Opposition pre-candidate Andrés Caleca expressed his “absolute support” for the National Primary Commission (CNP) in relation to the technical support of the National Electoral Council (CNE).
“I was myself in the same state as the Primary Commission, yes, on another level and in other circumstances, but I know what the situation is, and for that reason, I give them my absolute support. Consult, yes, but decide what you consider most convenient,” Caleca wrote on social media.
On the opposite side of the debate, pre-candidates María Corina Machado and Andrés Velázquez, who have always been opposed to receiving technical support from the CNE, expressed their rejection of the proposal.
“The primary belongs to the citizens, not to the dictatorship,” wrote Velázquez on social media. “CNE hands off the primary! The path of self-managed primary elections has been completed with effort and commitment. We are at the threshold and we must conclude it this October 22.”
María Corina Machado responded to a reporter’s question on the issue: “The CNE cannot change the date, the date was set by the National Primary Commission, there is an agreement already signed and agreed upon.”
For now, most opposition supporters, who have not shown much interest during the opposition’s electoral campaign, will have to wait until next Monday when the CNP is to meet again with the CNE.
Special for Orinoco Tribune by staff