Posted: 23 Nov 2021 19:38 GMT
The head of the MOE, Isabel Santos, stressed that this type of mission “is not an instrument of interference in the internal life of the countries.”
The head of the Electoral Observation Mission (EOM) of the European Union (EU) in Venezuela, Isabel Santos, reported this Tuesday that in the recent regional and local elections held in the South American country they were able to verify that the vote has taken place “in better conditions compared to previous electoral processes “.
In a press conference held in Caracas to give the EOM’s preliminary report on the elections, Santos asserted that “through internal dialogue,” the five rectors who make up the board of the Venezuelan National Electoral Council (CNE) “achieved improvements in technical components“of the vote, and considered that the disposition of these officials is fundamental for the reconstruction of the confidence in the political life of the country.
In that sense, the head of the EOM said that during her stay in Venezuelan territory they observed that the new CNE directive, constituted in May 2021, is seen as “the most balanced electoral administration that Venezuela has had in the last 20 years. “.
“The CNE renewed in May 2021 is seen as the most balanced electoral administration that Venezuela has had in the last 20 years, which is key to building confidence in political life, “he said.
Santos also stressed the fact that the recent elections have meant the return of different opposition parties to electoral competition, an issue that has allowed them, as a mission, to have a complete vision of the process.
During his speech, he took the opportunity to clarify that “the Electoral Observation Missions are not an instrument of interference in the internal life of the countries”, and that it is the Venezuelan citizens “and no one else” who can decide the future of their country, through “a process of comprehensive political dialogue.”
The preliminary report
Santos specified that the balance presented this Tuesday “is still a preliminary report,” after emphasizing that the nature of the EOM is independent, neutral and impartial.
The expert anticipated that “critical stages” have yet to be evaluated of the elections, such as the completion of the vote count and the resolution of possible challenges, processes that the EU will continue to observe.
Observers of the EU EOM Venezuela 2021 continue to observe the activities of political parties, in Maturín they witnessed the closing of the PSUV electoral campaign pic.twitter.com/8dqI09Yg08
– EU EOM Venezuela 2021 (@MOEUEVenezuela) November 19, 2021
He also warned about some irregularities, such as the installation of so-called “red dots” near voting centers throughout Venezuelan territory, despite the fact that there was a ban by the CNE, and the widespread use of state resources for political campaigns, although the legal framework establishes sanctions. to that kind of practice.
On this last point, the head of the EOM considered it necessary to reinforce the power of the CNE to issue sanctions, since it did not observe the application of penalties to those who transgressed the regulatory framework in the development of political campaigns.
Observers from the #MOEUE travel throughout Venezuela to meet with regional electoral offices from different states, discuss the electoral process and analyze the respective preparations. pic.twitter.com/7xWC4OXhtS
– EU EOM Venezuela 2021 (@MOEUEVenezuela) November 1, 2021
On the other hand, he indicated that the EOM was able to “verify the lack of judicial independence, the non-adherence to the rule of law” and the application of laws that would have affected “the balance and transparency of the elections,” as well as obstacles to the exercise of freedom of expression and the right to information.
“In the electoral field, there have been arbitrary disqualifications of candidates by administrative means and the control of their symbols and electoral cards has been suspended or withdrawn from leaders of more recognized members of some parties,” added Santos, who regretted that during the day electoral the murder of a person took place in the state of Zulia; and that an electoral observer and two human rights defenders were attacked in Lara.
Cooperation with the CNE
The head of the EOM also highlighted that the work of the 136 observers who were present in the 23 states of the country and visited 605 voting centers, always counted on the “total professionalism and cooperation” of the CNE.
“We have not had any inconvenience, no lack of cooperation in our contact with the CNE, “said Santos, who emphasized that during his stay in Venezuela he did not experience” any interference “or” any problem “with the Venezuelan Electoral Power, an organization to which he thanked the trust placed in the EU, after making the invitation to the elections.
In that sense, he recalled that the EOM will combat any attempt to interpret its preliminary report in favor of partisan interests, as it reiterated that its commitment “at all times” is to respect the sovereignty of the country and its laws, with “strict political impartiality. “.
Santos reported that he will return to Venezuela during the first quarter of 2021 to present the final report of the MOE, which will include “a complete analysis, as well as recommendations for possible reforms to improve future processes.”