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Venezuela's CNE asks international observers to retract

By Miguel Octavio

Yesterday, in a somewhat surprising move, the usually diplomatic OAS and Carter Center representatives gave a press conference in which they called for the CNE only to allow people to withdraw their signature if they had not signed in the November Reafirmazo. According to both international organizations, this is the usual spirit in such processes worldwide and is also the spirit which can be derived from the text of the regulations.

The statement caused the outrage of two of the three pro-Chavez members of the Electoral Board who accused the observers of going beyond their duties and threatening them with reconsidering their role in the process, unless they retracted their statement. While one of the CNE directors indicated that his outrage was aimed at the questioning of the spirit of the regulations, it may actually be that the OAS and the Carter Center explicitly referred to the intimidation of people by the Government to induce them to withdraw their signatures.

Today both Carter center and OAS representatives held another press conference where they certainly fell short of retracting their statements, giving a vague clarification of what they had said and why. They certainly did not seem to retract their statements and it would be interesting to see the reaction by the CNE Directors tomorrow.

The statements by the CNE Directors simply show, once again, the partiality of its members against the process and how they are willing to go to any length to stop the opposition from getting the required number of signatures to call for the recall referendum against Hugo Chavez. As the former head of the CNE said today, the attitude of the CNE Directors is unheard of in their attempt to block any possibility of the recall referendum ever taking place as well as not facilitating the people’s rights to express their will.

Dictators don't hold clean elections, as simple as that. And this particular one has a bunch of servants at the service of his abuses against the people and their rights.

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