Venezuela: CNE will "defend its rights and interests"
By Gustavo Mendez, El Universal
Carrasquero foretold a new conflict within the CNE Announcing that the CNE has "functional autonomy in legislative competence," Carrasquero said that it will use all resources available to keep that autonomy, an effort to which the CNE's legal advisor has already received instructions.
Although the president of Venezuela's National Electoral Council (CNE), Francisco Carrasquero, said in a press conference Tuesday that the body will "defend its rights and interests" in relation to the ruling of the Electoral Chamber of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ) that ordered it to validate more than 876,000 questioned signatures backing a presidential recall, he offered no hint about how this defense will be performed.
Announcing that the CNE has "functional autonomy in legislative competence," Carrasquero said that it will use all resources available to keep that autonomy, an effort to which the CNE's legal advisor has already received instructions.
However, the announcement will bring about a new conflict within the CNE, Carrasquero foretold, because Directors Ezequiel Zamora and Jorge Rodríguez have expressed their diverging views on the juridical stance the agency should take on the ruling.
Zamora, who is the CNE's vice president, said that asking for a revision of the electoral court's decision is not possible because this type of ruling does not admits appeal.
"I think the CNE should announce that we have been advised of the ruling and the (board of directors') conclusion should be no other than accepting it," he said. Doctrine and jurisprudence, Zamora said, reveal that there is "no possible revision to a sentence that is not definitely firm. Consider Corpoturismo-Limpiatours in 2001, Samsung-Samtronic in 2002 and Nisso-Amorgos in 2003."
See you in the Constitutional Chamber
Jorge Rodríguez, head of the CNE's National Electoral Board (JNE), had said very early in the morning of Tuesday that the electoral agency would appeal the ruling before the Constitutional Chamber and, therefore, "respect" the resolution of this court.
He argued that the board of directors of the CNE was enabled by the Constitutional Chamber to decide on the weaknesses of the norms ruling recall votes.
"This means that we will obey the decision of the Constitutional Chamber, which is under article 336 of the Magna Charta the only body with faculties to correctly interpret the Constitution," Rodríguez said.
Rodríguez' opinion, the CNE is in the middle of two rulings, but it is not clear for him how the Electoral Chamber issued a decision after being ordered not to do so. Besides, "how did it make this decision without looking at one single collection form of those that the CNE has declared valid, not valid or objected?," he wondered.
However, beyond the juridical point of view, Rodríguez urged the parties involved in the recall petition to see that the "hardest and longest way to a recall is through the court." "I think it is much more longer a way, where none of us wins and we all lose," he said.
Translated by Edgardo Malaver
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