CARACAS – The pro-government Latin American Council of Electoral Experts (CEELA) has absolute faith in the results announced by Venezuelan authorities following Sunday’s municipal elections, which indicated a blowout in favor of the ruling Chavismo movement.
The president of CEELA, Nicanor Moscoso, told a press conference that the electoral process “complied with international standards and national legislation, particularly in the areas of freedom of expression and transparency.”
The mission of electoral experts, invited by the National Electoral Council (CNE) of Venezuela, noted that by and large the process “went off satisfactorily” since “the freedom to vote and its secrecy of the ballot were totally guaranteed.”
“From the point of view of electoral technicalities...we believe totally and absolutely in the results offered by the CNE, given all the guarantees offered throughout the process,” continued the statement that emphasized the “security, trustworthiness and transparency” that marked the day.
CEELA said that no problems were recorded among the participating political forces, that no complaints were received about irregularities in the contest, and that the voting proceeded in an “orderly” fashion, without any acts of violence.
Moscoso said the electoral audits performed once the polls were closed showed that the number of votes coincided “100 percent” with the number of voters registered by the voting machines.
He also said the participation rate of 47.3 percent was “very good” and was a historic turnout for an election of this kind.
The observer considered that the military units guarding the polls “provided total security without their presence causing any problems,” and rejected complaints of “assisted voting” since, he said, “they didn’t affect the results.”
“The will of the citizens freely expressed at the polls has been respected...the result of the vote on Sunday, Dec. 10, is a faithful reflection of a country whose electoral system has evolved,” Moscoso said.
Though the CNE has reported the results of just slightly more than 40 municipalities, the government claims it won 308 of the 335 contested districts.
Three of the four most powerful parties of the MUD opposition coalition had no candidates in the race, on grounds that the CNE – headed by five authorities, four of them aligned with the government – is a “fraudulent” concern.