This Tuesday, May 4, in accordance with the provisions of Venezuela’s Magna Carta, the National Assembly (AN), by a qualified majority, selected the rectors of the National Electoral Council (CNE) for a period of seven consecutive years. These are 15 qualified individuals, chosen from a list of 103 applications, who have been thoroughly reviewed by the special legislative commission designated for this purpose.
Once the files had been reviewed in a special session, the following were elected as main rectors:
• Pedro Enrique Calzadilla Pérez, professor and historian
• Alexis Corredor Pérez
• Tania D’Amelio Cardiet, with extensive experience in the Electoral Power
• Enrique Octavio Márquez Pérez
• Roberto Antonio Picón Hernández
The first alternates are:
• Carlos Enrique Quintero Cuevas
• Francisco José Garcés Da Silva
• Leonel Enrique Hernández
• Rafael Simón Chacón Guzmán
• Griselda Bariti Colina
In addition, these are the second alternates
• Francisco José Martínez García
• Gustavo Adolfo Vizcaíno Gil
• Saúl de Jesús Bernal Peña
• Conrado Ramón Pérez Briceño
• León Antonio Arismendi
Each principal rector shall have a first alternate and a second alternate.
All were sworn in during the main floor sessions this Tuesday, and it is expected that they will install the new CNE in the next 24 hours. Some applications came from civil society, others from the Citizen Power and others from universities, as mandated by law.
In this way, the country’s electoral arbiter for the supreme exercise of democracy—the popular vote, is renewed.
“This will open the door to any number of elections in the coming years,” said opposition Deputy Giuseppe Alessandrello in his speech, prior to the formal consignment of the list to the Secretariat for voting.
For his part, deputy José Gregorio Correa, vice president of the special committee, said emphatically in a conciliatory speech that “there is no other way than the electoral one… All the paths that were explored failed and the only one that provides a peaceful result is the electoral one. I am convinced that this is the only scenario where we can meet,” he added.
Plurality and respect amid differences
Then the parliamentarian Hermann Escarrá took the floor. “This is an extraordinary act full of a simple solemnity, that puts the fundamental values of the Republic upon a type of aeropagus of democratic participation.”
“Perhaps the most significant thing is the harmonization based on differences,” Escarrá stated. “We have differences with the opposition, but at the same time we have respect, conviction, a sense of freedom and pluralism; cooperation when it comes to national goals. That is why, for you, our recognition and applause, in this important hour that the Republic is experiencing, which is to re-legitimize its institutions.”
In closing, the renowned constitutional lawyer made a proposal: “Let us frame the political controversy, the political struggle, in the Constitution, because at the end of the day what is involved is the restoration of peace—as has been achieved—of the concord and the happiness of the Venezuelans.”
Acknowledgements of the AN president
The president of the AN, Jorge Rodríguez, thanked and congratulated the examples of generosity, wisdom, and detachment provided by the parliamentarians of the new AN. “You are here reaffirming the democratic institutionality contained in the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,” he said. He assured that the new authorities will be the “administrators of the voice of the people, that will be expressed in the elections of the next seven years” with sufficient independence and autonomy.
Process adjusted to the law
Article 296 of the Venezuelan Magna Carta establishes that “the National Electoral Council shall be made up of five persons not linked to organizations with political ends; three of them will be nominated by civil society; one by the faculties of legal and political sciences of the national universities; and one by the Citizen Power.”
Venezuela’s next elections are regional and municipal, to be scheduled in the coming weeks, and likely to take place in December 2021.
Featured image: Venezuelan National Assembly appointed new electoral authorities. Photo courtesy of RedRadioVE.
(RedRadioVE) by Lucia Eugenia Cordova
Translation: Orinoco Tribune