English | News | 14 abril 2013

Hundreds of Latin American leaders demand fair elections in Venezuela (El País)

Accusations of irregularities and favoritism by the Election Commission increase ahead of Sunday’s presidential elections.

Hasta en el tarjetón se ve el ventajismo y abuso de poder el las elecciones presidenciales en Venezuela

Even the presidential ballot paper demonstrates abuse of State power and unfair election practices in Venezuela

Accusations and documentation of irregularities and violations in the electoral system presented by the opposition against the State and its candidate have become the central theme of the presidential elections campaign as polling stations open today in Venezuela.

Alarms of possible election fraud have gone beyond Venezuela’s borders and for the first time, a group made up of hundreds of Latin American political and opinion leaders have demanded in an open letter to the Venezuelan authorities that elections be free, fair and clean. Nine former presidents and 350 parliamentarians from 13 South American nations have made a call, specifically on the National Election Commission (Consejo Nacional Electoral, CNE), to ensure that the election process is «transparent, free and fair».

Latin American leaders fear State abuse of power has influenced Venezuela's presidential elections

Latin American leaders fear State abuse of power has influenced Venezuela's presidential elections

The open letter, signed by former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo, Argentine Fernando de la Rua, Mexican Vicente Fox and Costa Rican Oscar Arias, among others, begins with a declaration of support–on behalf of the «international democratic community»–for the Venezuelan people so that they may elect their representatives with the guarantee of «equal access and use of State media and institutional resources throughout the campaign, on election day and also post-election».

Since its signing, more than 200 additional Latin American personalities and organizations have added their signatures and support to the document.

Maduro, el martes en un acto de campaña

State-supported candidate Nicolas Maduro in a recent campaign event

Former Colombian President Andres Pastrana was much more direct when expressing regret that he must reject the invitation of Venezuelan election commission to «accompany»* the presidential elections. In a letter to Election Commission President Tibisay Lucena, Pastrana states: «The April 14 elections will mark the beginning of a new day for the Venezuelan people, although they go to polling stations following yet another election campaign that failed to guarantee equal treatment of all candidates, and rather showed favoritism and gave advantages to the candidate currently enjoying the powers of the State. Therefore, I must graciously decline the honorable invitation made by the National Election Commission of Venezuela».

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Imagen de previsualización de YouTube

*Venezuela no longer allows formal domestic or international election observation, rather only superficial «election accompaniment».

Original article at El País