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An electoral coup in Venezuela

By Daniel Duquenal

Wednesday 25, February 2004 Last night, as I was watching an history channel broadcast about the Medicis (talk of coincidences in political style) the Electoral board did was is little bit less than an electoral coup to try to annul the recall election process. The news waited for me this morning when I turned on TV for my morning coffee.

I do not know all the details yet but it seems that 1.4 million signatures will have to be repeated, under the vigilance of the Electoral Board. So, first question, why did they not collect themselves the signatures to begin with since they will end up collecting 40% of them anyway? The second question being how do they dare to change the rules that they set themselves in October!?!?!?!?!

The first conclusions this early in the morning:

1- the 3/2 vote in the electoral board puts an end to the "impartiality" of the CNE. The three chavista representatives are now pout in the open and have reneged their own promises and assurances. The exclusive interview of Carrasquero last week to the state TV, VTV, was indeed a direct hint of what was to come. There is a reason why Carrasquero sleeps at Fuerte Tiuna, the military head quarters of Caracas, when in Caracas (he is from Maracaibo)

2- We can be assured that the 3/2 majority will impose as drastic conditions as possible to the "verification" allowing chavismo to use all sorts of tactics to stop people from going to have their signature verified.

3- Chavez has gained AT LEAST one more month and is getting closer to an eventual post August 19 referendum, in case there is a referendum.

More later as I get the details. But one question cannot be avoided anymore: Is democracy over in Venezuela?

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