The mission from Unasur (Union of South American Nations) that will be acting as ‘accompanying observer’ in the coming presidential elections in Venezuela, 7 October, and the only organization allowed to fulfil that task, said that the Venezuelan electoral process is one of the “most trustworthy and reliable”.
“I know the electoral systems of South America and I can say with full authority that Venezuela has one of the most advanced and reliable electoral systems from the region and the continent”, said Carlos ‘Chacho’ Alvarez head of the Unasur mission on arrival to Caracas to begin the agenda of activities in anticipation of the October 7 event.
Alvarez’ delegation includes electoral experts from Bolivia, Ecuador, Guyana and Peru and he insisted on getting off the plane, that the Venezuelan voting system has “great transparency” and can be audited in several different ways.
The delegation is scheduled to meet with the campaign manager of President Hugo Chavez who is seeking his re-election for a third consecutive mandate, and that from the opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski.
The former Argentine Vice-president said it would be “very positive” if the Unasur mission could meet with Chavez who allegedly is leading in the opinion polls made public, as well as with Capriles. He also anticipated that the delegation has scheduled meetings with Venezuelan national observers for the coming election.
Alvarez made the statements following a meeting with the president of the National Electoral Council, CNE; Tibisay Lucena and the ambassadors in Caracas of Unasur country members. Unasur will be making its first experience as electoral observer on October 7.
The figure of international “accompanying observer”, which is limited to making recommendations on the elections, was incorporated to the Venezuelan legislation following the presidential election of 2006 and will be used instead of that of “international observer” for the first time in October.
Precisely on the point Alvarez said the mission he heads will not be “controlling or monitoring the election” but rather accumulate “the best practices of the electoral systems of our countries”
The US Carter Centre which sent observers in 2006 rejected last August to participate in the coming elections following the description of “international accompanying observer” as ‘symbolic’, since it has no competence to “assess the electoral process as a whole in a systematic way”.
The Organization of American States, OAS, and the European Union which sent observers back in 2006 were not invited on this occasion. Over 19 million Venezuelans are entitled to vote under the new system which is based on the finger print.