17 abr. 2013

LATIN AMERICA RECOGNISES VENEZUELA'S ELECTION RESULTS. RIGHT-WING OPPOSITION ENGAGE IN VIOLENCE TO OVERTURN THEM


VENEZUELA SOLIDARITY CAMPAIGNELECTIONS RESULTS UPDATE NO.3, APRIL 16 2013
 
1) Venezuela's right-wing groups engage in extreme violence after rejecting official election results
2) Leaders from across Latin America congratulate President Maduro & call for official results to be respected
3) Venezuelan Embassy in the UK Statement on the Election
4) Union of South American Nations & Election Observers Calls for Respect for Venezuela Election Results
5) National Electoral Council (CNE) explains that 54% of votes have been audited & the result is valid, as Nicolas Maduro becomes President
 
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1) Venezuela's right-wing groups engage in extreme violence after rejecting official election results
 
Groups linked to the Venezuelan right-wing opposition have unleashed a wave of violence across Venezuela following their loss at Sunday’s presidential elections and their refusal to accept the official results, again (as in many times in the past) alleging fraud without providing any proof, in order to undermine the will of the people.
Henrique Capriles, the losing candidate, called his supporters onto the streets and this was quickly followed on Monday by violence.
The situation has particularly worsened after right-wing national newspapers published a doctored photo claiming to show the government burning ballot papers and an opposition-aligned journalist falsely claimed that ballot boxes were being held by Cuban doctors - the first false accusation leading to attacks on buildings of the country's independent national electoral council, the second on widespread attacks on the nation's health services.
The houses of the families of prominent politicians and of the head of the electoral council , as well as locals headquarters of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), and the electoral councils have all been subjected to violence, including examples of arson.
Likewise public health workers and buildings, state supermarkets, community media buildings and other social services built the Chavez government were attacked. Anti-chavista groups also blocked some important avenues and highways.
There are press reports that this violence has resulted in the loss of life of some Chavez supporters. Luis Garcia Polanco, 24, a youth activist in the United Socialist Party of Venezuela was reported to have been shot dead  in front of the National Electoral Council (CNE) building in Zulia after a group of arrived people demanding a recount of votes.  Reuters is now reporting that four people have died due to the right-wing opposition's post-election violence.Addiionally, there are reports that a government supporter has been set on fire alive.
The opposition has organised protests against local headquarters of the National Electoral Council across the county for Tuesday and there are fears that the violence could be stepped up as the opposition seek to overturn illegitimately overturn the narrower than expected victory.
 
2) Leaders from across Latin America congratulate President Maduro & call for official results to be respected
Leaders from across the political spectrum Latin America have congratulated Nicolas Maduro on his win in the Presidential election held in Venezuela this Sunday 14 April, with 50.75% of the vote, and called on all parties to respect the official election results issued by the CNE (Venezuelan National Electoral Council.)The Brazilian Foreign Secretary, Antonio Patriota, congratulated Maduro and stated “I would call attention to the fact that the National Electoral Council (of Venezuela) has announced the victory of President Nicolas Maduro.”   He added “The results from the CNE should be respected as the only competent authority in line with Venezuelan law and the constitution.” 
The government of Colombia also congratulated Venezuela on the high turnout and peaceful elections and stated “As in any democracy, the results issued by the authorities constitutionally responsible for electoral processes should be respected.” 
Uruguayan President, José Mujica, congratulated Maduro and called on all Venezuelans to respect the results work together despite their differences.
The Mexican Foreign Ministry offered congratulations on an election with “high participation of the Venezuelan people and in a recognised atmosphere of peace.”   
The Chilean Foreign Ministry also released a statement which highlighted “the civic spirit of the Venezuelan people, who participated en masse at their local polling stations and have expressed their opinion in a peaceful democratic exercise.” 
Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa, on route to Europe for a tour including Germany, Italy and Spain tweeted, “From the heights of the Amazon, congratulations to Nicolás Maduro, the Venezuelan people and the Bolivarian Revolution. Viva la Patria Grande!” adding that Venezuela would never return to the past.
Ecuador's foreign minister, Ricardo Patiño, also referred to the Venezuelan elections by Twitter: "On a flight to Europe, taking a break to congratulate Nicolas Maduro and the people of Venezuela for another victory of the Bolivarian revolution.” 
Cristina Fernández, President of Argentina, expressed her congratulations to President Nicolás Maduro on Twitter, where she highlighted the high levels of participation and the democratic character of the Venezuelan people, “Congratulations to the people of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for their exemplary election.”  A follow-up tweet read: “Congratulations to their new President, Nicolás Maduro.”  Fernández also and urged respect for the electoral results.
The Bolivian President, Evo Morales sent a message stating, "I congratulate the Venezuelan people for the civic and democratic integrity shown on election day. Whilst every region of America is different and diverse, this victory for Venezuela is a victory for all of Latin America.”  
Morales added that Maduro's victory strengthens regional bodies such as the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA).
Daniel Ortega, President of Nicaragua, congratulated Maduro and the Venezuelan people on “another victory that guarantees the realisation of the dreams of a free, dignified and prosperous country for all Venezuelans.”  
The President of Peru, Ollanta Humala, congratulated Maduro and sent his regards to the Venezuelan people in a phone call shortly after the CNE declared the results.
Otto Pérez Molina, President of Guatemala sent congratulations to the people of Venezuela on Twitter adding, ''We wish President Nicolas Maduro all the best.''
Raul Castro sent a message on behalf of Cuba, congratulating Maduro on his “decisive victory” which “guarantees the continuity of the Bolivarian Revolution and the genuine integration of Our America."
The President of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli, sent strong congratulations to Maduro and reiterated his commitment to cooperation and friendship with Venezuela.
The President of Haití, Michel Martelly, congratulated Maduro on his victory and reiterated his commitment to work together "to maintain and consolidate the cordial relations which have characterized the history of our two countries." Martelly expressed his confidence that the bilateral cooperation between the two would be strengthened under the new President.
 
3) Venezuelan Embassy in the UK Statement on the Election
 
Addressing the fact that the CNE is Venezuela has carried out an audit of 54% of the votes cast in Sunday's elections, more than any other audit of this nature in the world, and that this has confirmed Nicolas Maduro's victory, a spokesperson for the Venezuelan Embassy said, “Venezuela enjoys a solid democratic system and rule of law, with a long electoral tradition. According to our Constitution, it is the National Electoral Council (CNE) alone that oversees elections and issues results. The CNE, which is recognised worldwide, has declared Nicolas Maduro the winner of the presidential election with 7, 563,747 votes and a lead of 262,000 votes. This is the second highest number of votes obtained by a presidential candidate in Venezuelan history. The CNE has carried out an audit of 54% of the vote, as is stipulated in Venezuelan law, and this has confirmed this result. In the past, the Venezuelan opposition has ignored the electoral authority and in doing so has faced rejection both in Venezuela and the wider international community. The opposition is once again doing this."
 
4) Union of South American Nations & Election Observers Calls for Respect for Venezuela Election Results
 
An electoral accompaniment mission from the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) called today for respect for the results of Venezuela ’s presidential elections, which were announced Sunday night by the National Electoral Council (CNE) and gave a victory to Nicolás Maduro, who will assume the presidency for the period 2013 to 2019.
In a preliminary report which will be delivered to the CNE, the accompaniers urged political actors to make any complaints they may have in accordance with legal procedures.
The head of the UNASUR accompaniment mission, Carlos Alvarez, read the statement and announced that a final report will be delivered in 15 days.
After yesterday’s voting, Roberto Rosario, president of the Inter-American Union of Electoral Organizations (UNIORE), also called on political and social leaders to respect the official results. “At the end of the day, we were able to confirm that it was peaceful and civic, and hence political leaders, social actors and candidate should assume maturity, their responsibility to the people, respecting the official results presented by the CNE,” Rosario said on TeleSur. Meanwhile, he recalled that the CNE is the only entity qualified under the Constitution and the law to present election results in Venezuela.
“May they be respected, and may any inconsistencies, if there were any, be attended to in the regular way that they are in democratic systems, and if proven, be dealt with according to the law,” he said.
Rosario stressed that Venezuela’s electoral system functions well and is fully automated. “This demonstrates the grasp and the ease with which Venezuelans use new technologies in the electoral arena,” he said.
Meanwhile, the president of the National Electoral Council of Ecuador, Domingo Paredes, confirmed the transparency and trustworthiness of Venezuela’s electoral process.
He said that just a few hours after voting began, 20% participation was registered, “which signifies the great importance that elections have for the people.”
He also highlighted the participation of senior citizens and people with disabilities, congratulating the people for the environment of tranquility in which the electoral process unfolded.
Paredes announced that he had met with CNE Pres. Tibisay Lucena to establish a cooperation agreement, “because Ecuador’s objective is to follow in the footsteps of Venezuela.”
“By 2017 or 2020 we want to have electronic voting in Ecuador, and that is why the experience of Venezuela for the last 14 years is huge. Also, that it has demonstrated in various electoral processes the transparency and trustworthiness of the electoral system,” he added.
Latin American Council of Electoral Experts gives a positive verdict
Additionally, The Latin American Council of Electoral Experts (CEELA), which observed the Presidential elections, has said that just because someone wins by a narrow margin, that is not an excuse to seek to delegitimise the full electoral process. A representative explained that ultimately, "such differences are part of the variables of democracies".Guillermo Reyes, a  former president of Colombia's National Electoral Council, said:  "The results can not be taken as a reason to delegitimise the electoral process, the massive participation, and the respect between citizens of the different election campaigns , let alone the successful and brilliant work of the National Electoral Council" said 
He explained that the process complied with international standards and national legislation and "
 was carried out very satisfactorily. Political actors, the authorities and, most importantly, the people showed responsibility and respect for how orderly elections are conducted" Reyes added that  he had witnessed  16 elections in Venezuela and that: "The result today is a reflection of a country that has evolved its electoral  system [and which has ] ...become a system worthy of emulation."
 
5) National Electoral Council (CNE) explains that 54% of votes have been audited & the result is valid as Nicolas Maduro becomes President
By VSC supporter EWAN ROBERTSON in Merida, Venezuela, writing on April 15 for 'Venezuelanalysis.com'
Nicolas Maduro was declared Venezuelan president elect this afternoon, but the opposition continues to refuse to recognise the result unless a manual recount is undertaken.
Maduro was declared by the Venezuelan National Electoral Council (CNE) as winner of yesterday’s presidential election, which on the latest count gives him a victory margin of 1.8%, or 262,000 votes.
Opposition candidate Henrique Capriles has refused to recognise the results and is calling Maduro “illegitimate”. He is claiming to have won and is demanding a manual recount of “every vote”.
Today the president of the CNE, Tibisay Lucena, announced that a manual recount would not be necessary to confirm the accuracy of the results, and highlighted that all the proper auditing checks had been undertaken.
“The candidate Capriles has announced demands upon the Electoral Power since last night and has refused to recognise the results announced by this body. That is his decision, but in Venezuela a state of law exists which must be respected,” she said.
She explained that the CNE had already audited 54% of the vote, “a statistical proportion that in any part of the world is considered excessive”, and had carried out fourteen audits before and during the electoral process to safeguard the correct functioning of the system.
Lucena invited Capriles to use the correct judicial processes to clarify any doubts he had over the result, but warned that “harassment, threats or intimidation are not the ways to appeal to the Electoral Power”.
The CNE president also criticised the comments made the OAS president José Miguel Insulza, who argued for a recount earlier today, as “an interventionist act that seeks to intervene in national sovereignty and…de-recognise the internal juridical order”.
The CNE proclaimed Maduro president-elect in a televised ceremony this afternoon.
Vicente Diaz, the only of the CNE’s five rectors considered favourable to the opposition, did not attend the ceremony, in response to his call for a manual recount being overturned.
Nevertheless, Diaz publicly stated that he had “no doubt” about the accuracy of the result, given that they had been “audited, certified, checked [and] there were witnesses present”.
In his speech, Maduro claimed that the opposition were implementing a strategy to destabilise the country and were planning to stage a coup.
“What he is doing is... calling for a...coup; in Venezuela preparations are under way for an attempt to de-recognise democratic institutions ,” he said.
The president-elect also urged state, army and the people to remain united. “We are Chavez, we are the homeland, we are the revolution,” he declared.
Following a far narrower win than expected, Maduro offered his hand to those who voted for the opposition to contribute to the construction of the nation. “I’m not Chavez…I’m Chavez’s son, I’m Chavista and I’m the first Chavista president after Hugo Chavez.”
“I’m going to fully fulfil his legacy of protecting the humble and the poor,” he said.
Maduro will be officially sworn-in as president on Friday. The act is expected to take place amid a large demonstration in support of his presidency.
Opposition response and violence
In a press conference reacting to Maduro’s proclamation as president-elect, opposition candidate Henrique Capriles reiterated that he believed he had won the election, and would not accept the official result without a manual recount.
“We aren’t proposing to refuse to recognise the will of the people, we believe that we won the election and we are asking for the right to count the votes. What’s wrong with that?” he asked.
Capriles accused Tibisay Lucena of “destroying in a matter of hours what you say you’ve achieved over these years [in the CNE]”, and flatly refused to accept the CNE or Maduro’s pronouncements, continuing to refer to Maduro as a “candidate” and “illegitimate”.
He told supporters that it was a moment “for reason, and not excitement”, and urged them not to commit violent acts, telling them that he had designed “a route..so that the right of all Venezuelans is respected”.
This “route” to pressure the government and the CNE included asking supporters to bang pots and pans in the streets at 8pm this evening as a mark of protest.
Then, tomorrow, he called upon supporters to turn up at local CNE headquarters to hand in requests for the vote to be manually recounted. On Wednesday, he said he would go to the national CNE headquarters with supporters to submit his demands personally.
Today mainly pro-opposition youth and students held protests outside of local CNE offices in some cities in the country. In Mérida, some confrontations were reported between opposition and pro-government groups, but no serious violence occurred.
According to former communications minister Andrez Izarra, the house of CNE rector Tibisay Lucena, has also been attacked.