Published On: Sat, Oct 13th, 2012

The New Herald: Questions “clean” elections in Venezuela

CARACAS - The defeat suffered by opponent Henrique Capriles in Sunday's election dusted doubts about the electoral system in Venezuela, amid allegations that it is designed to favor President Hugo Chavez to the point of “impossible” to conduct fair elections in the country, according to journalist Antonio Maria Delgado of Elnuevoherald.com.

Analysts and opposition members consulted by El Nuevo Herald said Capriles lost not because he failed to win voter preferences, but because the vote failed to defend a series of perverse mechanisms that together constitute fraud.

"I have a conviction, Sunday's results do not reflect the true will of the people of Venezuela. If the elections had been free and fair, the other would be the result, "said opposition lawmaker Maria Corina Machado.

"On October 7, what prevailed here, what we won, were abuse and the abuse of the government," he said.

But Capriles himself, faced criticism from some quarters that the opposition conceded defeat too quickly, was categorical in saying that the elections had been fair.

"Here there was no fraud and I say it clearly, the process according to the information we have has been audited, if there was something here that put it in doubt (the result), I would be the first to say," said Capriles early this week.

Yet many within the ranks of the opposition believe that the democratic forces of the country fell victim to an ambush, even long before the polls open, accepting compete under conditions that benefit the enemy imposed by CNE almost entirely controlled by Chavez

"Capriles did a great campaign, did an admirable job. But the fault was not in the campaign. It was in not understanding that we have a perverse electoral system. You cannot talk of sovereignty of the vote if there is no freedom, justice, transparency and in Venezuela none of these three exists, "said Machado.

According to experts consulted, the Venezuelan government has used a set of mechanisms to benefit Chavez's intention to extend his 20-year presidential term, including the use of voter registration that has never been cleaned despite insistent claims that within the list are millions of people registered who do not really exist.

The engineer Anthony Daquin, former advisor to the Ministry of Interior and Justice of Venezuela, holds that this universe of voters ghosts hides among the five million identity cards issued without compliance with appropriate legal requirements over the past 10 years, through a process that was actually organized by the Cuban government.

Daquin, who participated in that process, said many of these identity cards ended up in the hands of illegal aliens who were promised to normalize their immigration status, although they did not qualify under the commitment to always vote for the government, and militants of Chavez, who now carry more than one identity and use it to vote two or three times during the elections.

Source: La Patilla

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