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1984 or is it Venezuela?

From | VenEconomy

30.10.05 | George Orwell’s novel 1984 tells of how autocratic socialist governments twist the truth and manipulate reality; “Up is down” and “night is day” are just two examples.

In the revolutionary Venezuela of 2005, the “Constitutional” Chamber of the Supreme Tribunal of “Justice” has just handed down a decision according to which the formula for slating candidates for election, known as “las morochas,” does not violate the constitutional principle of proportional representation established in Article 63 of the Constitution. This decision means that the petition for the protection of rights filed by Acción Democrática has been denied, so dealing a fatal blow to minority parties. Unfortunately, on this occasion, the opposition paved the way for the sentence handed down by the highest court in the land. First, it was the opposition who first hit on the idea of using this formula in Yaracuy in 2000.

Second, with the argument of using the same weapons as the government, it has nominated candidates using this formula for the parliamentary elections to be held on December 4.

And third, according to constitutionalists consulted by VenEconomy, the petition for the protection of constitutional rights filed by AD was incomplete. It limited itself to the process of nominating candidates and did not go into the process of allocation in depth, which is the crux of the matter as far as the legality of the “morochas” formula is concerned. That is where the principle of proportional representation, guaranteed in the 1999 Constitution, is violated.

The question now is, is it worth going to elections under the conditions imposed by the government?

The NGO Súmate has specified five indispensable conditions that must be met in order to guarantee transparent, reliable elections. So far, the CNE has not yielded an inch or granted any of these conditions, and in any case, it would be impossible to meet most of them, as time is too short. For example, legally, the list of voters eligible to take part should be published two months before the elections. Yet here we are just over a month away and no one has seen it, so how will it be possible to clean up the Permanent Electoral Roll before December 4?

Nevertheless, there are those who still think that, in the interests of preserving democracy, going to the polls is a possibility if two basic requirements are met: that no voting machine, electronic voters list, or fingerprint identification machine is connected during the voting process and that all the ballots are counted manually.

It is now up to the political leaders. Will they have the guts to stand firm and demand that these conditions be met? Or is white now going to be black?

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