Venezuela: Electoral system improved significantly: official | Global Post

Venezuela’s automated electoral system has been improved significantly, as votes can be easily audited and verified, the nation’s top election official said Tuesday. In an interview aired on state-owned Venezolana de Television (VTV), Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (NEC) President Tibisay Lucena said: “In Venezuela we defeated electoral fraud … with an automated system and with technology.” Some of the most significant recent changes to the electoral system, she said, include upgrading the Voter Registry to include some 20 percent of Venezuelans over 18 who were not included, and improving the allocation of the voting centers.

Venezuela: Does Capriles Have a Plausible Claim, or Is He “Venezuela’s Sore Loser”? |

Reuters reported Sunday that the president of Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE) Tibisay Lucena has criticized opposition candidate Henrique Capriles for not presenting proof to back up his claims of fraud (also the focus of our post earlier today): “We have always insisted that Capriles had the right to challenge the process,” Tibisay Lucena, president of the electoral council, said in a televised national broadcast. But it is also his obligation to present proof.” She dismissed various opposition submissions alleging voting irregularities as lacking key details, and said Capriles had subsequently tried to present the audit in very different terms than the electoral council had agreed to.

Venezuela: The Roots of Venezuela’s Recount | The National Interest

After fourteen years of Hugo Chávez’s personalist leadership, Venezuelans took their first steps into a brave new world of political contestation on April 14 when they elected a president to fulfill Chávez’s term. The fireworks that marked the aggressive campaign are, in a sense, still going off. The unexpectedly close special presidential election between interim president Nicolás Maduro and opposition candidate Henrique Capriles, with a difference of 1.8 percent of the vote (or 272,865 votes), was followed by postelection turmoil in the streets and opposing international calls for either a vote recount or immediate recognition of Maduro’s slim victory.

Venezuela: Government Cuts Off Capriles’s TV Speech Over ‘Robbed’ Election | Businessweek

Venezuela cut off the transmission of a speech by opposition leader Henrique Capriles Radonski yesterday using a system of national broadcasts known as “cadena” after he said this month’s election was “robbed.” Capriles said he would give the national electoral council until today to announce news of an expanded vote audit before his speech, broadcast on the Globovision television network, was interrupted to play a recorded government message. “The cadena shows the fear they have about Venezuelans defending their rights,” Capriles said. “If they are so sure, let them audit the vote.”

Venezuela: Election council to audit vote in Venezuela | Post Bulletin

Venezuela’s electoral council announced Thursday night that it would audit the 46 percent the vote not scrutinized on election night in a concession to opposition candidate Henrique Capriles, who said he believes it will prove he is the president. “We are where we want to be,” a satisfied but cautious-looking Capriles told a news conference after the announcement. “I think I will have the universe of voters needed to get where I want to be.”

Venezuela: Government defends election result, backtracks on recount pledge | The Washington Post

Venezuela’s government on Monday defended a presidential election that authorities said gave interim leader Nicolas Maduro a six-year term, backtracking on a pledge he had made to permit an audit of ballots demanded by the opposition after the razor-thin victory. Henrique Capriles, who had challenged Maduro in the Sunday election, which was held six weeks after President Hugo Chavez’s death, insisted that he had won the vote and called for a hand count of all the paper ballots.

Venezuela: Venezuelan opposition candidate demands recount |

Denouncing election irregularities, Venezuelan opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski demanded a recount and said early Monday that he will not recognize the country’s presidential results “until every vote is counted.” His comments came less than an hour after officials said the man former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez handpicked to be his successor had won the country’s presidential vote. With 99% of votes counted, Nicolas Maduro won 50.66% of votes, National Electoral Council President Tibisay Lucena said, calling the results “irreversible.” Capriles won 49.07% of votes, she said.

Venezuela: Capriles cries foul ahead of election | AFP

Venezuelan opposition candidate Henrique Capriles accused acting president Nicolas Maduro of unfairly using state media and money in his campaign to succeed the late Hugo Chavez. The accusations come two weeks before voters choose a new president following the death of Chavez, the flamboyant leader who governed oil-rich Venezuela for 14 years and launched a self-styled leftist “revolution.” “The state media have become a propaganda wing of a political party,” Capriles alleged, referring to the socialist party of Maduro, Chavez’s handpicked successor. In free and fair balloting, candidates are supposed to have the same access and the same rights, Capriles told a press conference. But Maduro, a former bus driver and union leader, is relying on “all of the state’s resources … and all of the state’s power structure” to run his campaign, Capriles charged.

Ecuador: Ecuador suffers a cyber attack against its full electoral voting system |

The president of the National Electoral Council (CNE) of Ecuador, Domingo Paredes , revealed on Sunday that it has detected an attempt to penetrate your computer system while the Ecuadorians go to the polls to elect President , Vice President and legislators.”I could not give more details, it is under investigation,” Paredes said Efe, stating that, in any case, are showing “that there is no control of the situation “and that the software developed is “highly confident”. The head of the CNE declared that entity investigating who tried to break into the system, something that happened this morning , he explained. He added that there have been also other “acts of God”, but noted that “there is no reason to generalize or scandalized” because “everything is under control.”

Ecuador: On eve of elections in Ecuador, legal fears hold back in-depth coverage | Knight Center for Journalism

A few days before the presidential and parliamentarian elections in Ecuador, which will take place on Feb. 17, fears of lawsuits and other legal liabilities are holding back journalistic coverage. According to a report by non-profit Fundamedios, which analyzed the content of 10 newspapers between Jan. 4 and 20, there have been almost no opinion, context and analysis pieces written during the campaigns season. In contrast, plain informative stories represented more than 90 percent of their content. The main protagonists were not the candidates, but the National Electoral Council, which is mentioned in 43 percent of the stories. Some journalists and freedom of expression experts believe several news outlets are trying to avoid legal problems under Ecuador’s Code of Democracy — the country’s electoral law. In January 2012, using the Code, President and re-election candidate Rafael Correa succeeded in pushing through the National Assembly new restrictions on the news coverage of the elections. The most controversial one was article 203, which called media outlets to “abstain from promoting directly or indirectly” any candidate through special reports or any other way.

Editorials: Will The Coming Elections In Ecuador Be Free And Fair? | Eurasia Review

In the wake of next February’s Ecuadorian presidential election, and less than a month before the official start of the campaign, the rules of the game set by the reform to the electoral law remain questionable. The concern over the substance of the new electoral law stems mainly from Article 21, which restricts the freedom of the press during the campaign and hinders the ability of the opposition to disseminate electoral propaganda. Outside of these concerns, questions have also been raised about the reform’s legality: it was adopted without a majority in the legislature and passed after the timeframe permitted by the constitution. In addition, members of the Citizen Participation and Social Control Council (CPCCS) have questioned the independence of the National Electoral Council (CNE), the ultimate authority in electoral matters in charge of assuring that elections are free and fair.

Venezuela: Hugo Chavez Opposition Concerned About Forces Present on Election Day | Fox News

The campaign of Venezuelan presidential candidate Henrique Capriles said they are concerned about the presence of pro-Chavez groups like Colombian guerrillas who are known to operate at numerous polling sites and can intimidate voters. Campaign manager Leopoldo Lopez said they identified a total of 77 voting centers where they believe armed forces, Colombian guerrillas or paramilitary groups are present in the area. That’s out of a total of more than 13,800 voting centers nationwide. Lopez told reporters the opposition turned over the list to electoral officials and asked to meet with them as well as military officers who are in charge of security for the Oct. 7 presidential election.

Venezuela: US Carter Center: Venezuelan Electoral System one of the Most Reliable in the World |

The Venezuelan electoral system is the most reliable in the world, because it can be audited and verified at every stage, said Jennifer McCoy, director of the Carter Center’s Americas Program. She made the comments while visiting the Panorama publishing house, where she was welcomed by its president, Patricia Pineda. McCoy came to Venezuela a few days ago and observed the mock electoral test of last Sunday (5 Aug 2012) in Vargas state. She noted that the Carter Center is currently discussing whether it will participate as an international observer in the October 7 [presidential] election.

Ecuador: Observation Missions in Peru and Ecuador Extolled Efficiency and Progress in Electoral Processes |

During the Council session, held at OAS headquarters, the Organization’s Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, remarked that “the electoral process in all of our countries is increasingly more normal and increasingly more transparent,” making special reference to the elections in Peru and Ecuador, and added that the OAS is “very proud to be a part of this process, in which more and more people want to participate.”

According to the report, the EOM that followed the second round of general elections in Peru was composed of 73 observers, 21 from Member States and 7 from Observer States, deployed throughout the Peruvian territory. The report indicates that the observation work was based on a sample designed to collect significant data about voter behavior.

In his presentation, the Chief of Mission, Ambassador Dante Caputo, asserted that “it is very difficult to write the account of this second round because things went very well in Peru,” while highlighting the normalcy of the conditions during the elections. “I cannot tell you about any incidents or violent acts or abnormalities because, simply, they did not happen,” he said, concluding that “electoral democracy is evolving and Peru is a good example of what Latin America is doing in this field.”

Venezuela: Election Official Says Venezuelan Courts Targeting Chavez Rivals | Nasdaq

An electoral official in Venezuela said Wednesday that criminal investigations against possible challengers to President Hugo Chavez’s re-election bid suggest “a strategy of the government to choose who will be his opponent in the presidential elections.”

Vicente Diaz, the lone director of the National Electoral Council who is sympathetic to the opposition, said a number of the leading candidates to run against Chavez have faced accusations that critics say are baseless and meant instead to dim their political prospects.