English | News | The Law | 7 octubre 2012

NGO ‘Citizen Monitoring’ Condemns Hugo Chávez Presidential Campaign Violations (El Universal)

Venezuelan law demands prison time for using public resources to campaign.

The organization Citizen Monitoring (Monitoreo Ciudadano) alerts that the Venezuela National System of Public Media is continuously being used by Hugo Chávez for presidential election propaganda and campaigning. The regulated campaign officially begins on July 1, while campaigning with public resources is illegal both before and after that date.

On their website http://monitoreociudadano.org and YouTube channel, one can watch video clips—taken from official broadcasts—as evidence of the utilization of State media for campaign propaganda. One can also subscribe to email updates in English at http://bit.ly/Aprg8f

Quoting the Venezuelan Constitution in their biweekly newsletter, Citizen Monitoring explains how, as a public official, “President Hugo Chávez must be ‘at the service of the State and show no political bias’.”

Citizen Monitoring also reminds the Venezuelan public as well as the international community that Venezuelan legal code establishes that “any public official abusing his functions, using his government position to do electoral favor or harm to a candidate, group, political party or movement, will be sanctioned with a prison sentence of 1 year to 3 years” (Venezuela Anti-corruption Law).

Citizen Monitoring (Monitoreo Ciudadano)—their twitter account in English is @StateMedia—is a citizen initiative dedicated to monitoring and exposing the abuse of power and public resources by the Venezuelan government in efforts to illegally influence Venezuelan elections. President Hugo Chávez has in recent months abused State television, radio and obligatory Nationwide Blanket Broadcasts (cadena nacional) on multiple occasions to support his candidacy for president and attack his opponent from the United Democratic Alternative (MUD).

Currently, Citizen Monitoring focuses on State television channels Venezuelan Television (VTV) and National Assembly Television (ANTV, official channel of the national legislature). They also are a member of the legislative monitoring project, Legislative Monitor (Monitor Legislativo). —- Original article at http://goo.gl/8tE6H

More Citizen Monitoring in English at http://yomonitoreo.tumblr.com/tagged/english