Venezuelan News 20/02/2018 - VENEZUELA INVITES THE UN TO SEND OBSERVERS ON APRIL 22 PDF Imprimir E-mail
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Miércoles, 28 de Febrero de 2018 16:00


Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
National Electoral Council

Electoral Power delivers letter to Secretary General Antonio Guterres

Fulfilling the Agreements of the Dialogue Table which took place in the Dominican Republic, in commitment to the Venezuelan state and as was announced by President Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela's National Electoral Council (CNE) has handed Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres, a letter in which the General Secretariat of the UN is invited to send a High Level delegation of companions and observers to the presidential election process which will occur next April 22. The communication was sent through the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry and delivered to the Office of the Secretary General by the ambassador of Venezuela before the UN, Samuel Moncada, in the city of New York.

In the communication, Tibisay Lucena, president of the Electoral Power, proposes the General Secretariat that said delegation to be chaired by former Spanish President Jose Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and that it can participate both on Election Day as well as in all the audits and tests to the electoral system. The president of Electoral Power in Venezuela affirms that said Delegation will be able to verify the transparency of the electoral process and the deep democratic conviction of the Venezuelan people.

Caracas, February 16th, 2018

H.E. Mr. Antonio Guterres
Secretary General of the
Organization of the United Nations
New York.

Excellency Secretary General,

I have the honour to address Your Excellency in the opportunity to inform you that Presidential Elections are scheduled to be held on Sunday, April 22, 2018 for the period 2019-2025.

In this context, I am pleased to extend to you, on behalf of the Electoral Power of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, a cordial invitation to send a Delegation of Accompaniment and Electoral Observation to be present on the day of the elections, as well as in the set of audits foreseen in the electoral chronogram, which will cover all the components of the automated voting system. It will be a valuable opportunity to corroborate the transparency of the electoral process and the deep democratic conviction of the people of Venezuela.

It should be noted that this request corresponds to what was stated in the negotiation process of the Peace Agreement for Peaceful Coexistence in Venezuela, as the result of several rounds of meetings between the National Government and the Venezuelan opposition, within the framework of the Dialogue which took place in the Dominican Republic.

Taking into account the central role as facilitator of former President of the Government of Spain, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, I would like to very respectfully suggest his name so that he can act as coordinator of the aforementioned delegation.

Having nothing further to add and sure of your positive response, I avails myself of this opportunity to renew to you the assurances of my highest and most distinguished consideration.

National Electoral Council of the
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela


International presence in Venezuelan elections: sovereignty and cooperation as principles

All about electoral Accompaniment and observation in Venezuela

Constitutional character of the participation in Venezuela

According to the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Venezuelan democracy is participatory and protagonist which means that it tends to the direct participation of the people in the processes of management and public decisions as an essential value of democratic life, and in all processes leading to exercise the right to vote.

Entrega de informe final

The Electoral Power as a public power in the State

The Electoral Power is one of the five public powers that make up the structure of the Venezuelan State. The National Electoral Council (CNE) is the institutional body of the Electoral Power and the governing body of electoral processes in Venezuela. During the realization of the electoral processes the Electoral Power assumes the highest authority and its decisions are binding for all public powers.

CNE and electoral observation in Venezuela

Regarding the constitutional jurisdiction of the Electoral Power, in 2004 the CNE established a participation process of national and international organizations in order to accompany the election processes, know the dynamics, particularities and characteristics of the Venezuelan electoral system and contribute to its improvement, within the constitutional framework of respect for the sovereignty and independence of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

This constitutional function is implemented through two activities:

• International Electoral Accompaniment Program
• National Electoral Observation Program

What is the legal basis that supports the electoral accompaniment in Venezuela?

Two fundamental principles define international electoral participation in the Venezuelan elections: one, respect for the sovereignty of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, its democracy and its electoral processes, and two, international electoral cooperation.

Venezuelan electoral laws and regulations establish that: "international electoral companions are the electoral institutions or authorities of other States, international bodies or organizations, as well as the institutions and persons in general, duly accredited by the National Electoral Council, either by invitation of the CNE itself or by request made before the National Electoral Council, within the time lapses and conditions foreseen in the corresponding plan ".

Cierre de mesas

What happens with international electoral observation in Venezuela?

The so-called "electoral observation" is reserved for Venezuelan citizens and nationally constituted observation organizations, who request to witness the electoral event. Both the national observation and international accompaniment activities are subject to the National Electoral Observation Plan and the International Electoral Accompaniment Plan approved by the National Electoral Council for each election.

What are the differences between electoral observation and accompaniment?

The international electoral accompaniment carried out in Venezuela is a very broad and deep technical activity, which covers all stages and activities of the electoral events, offering the accredited companions extensive guarantees in their work so that they can effectively determine the reliability and transparency of the electoral processes and their results. The activities and conditions of the international electoral accompaniment are carried out in a novel and original way due to the high technical development of elections in Venezuela, placing them above the so-called international standards.

The regulations of Electoral Missions established by multilateral organizations such as the European Union (EU), the Organization of American States (OAS) and the United Nations (UN), among others, are governed by their own regulations, regardless of the laws of the countries where they go.

The fundamental difference is that Venezuelan legislation, safeguarding national sovereignty and the integrity of the electoral processes, does not contemplate the existence of International Observation Missions in the terms which are carried out in other countries, where said Missions receive a mandate from a foreign multilateral organization, which allows them to act outside the electoral authority, exercising tutelage and certification functions on the electoral process, and therefore, on the results thereof.

What does international accompaniment imply?

The International Electoral Accompaniment Program establishes the bases for the presence and participation of electoral experts and other accredited persons, in all the technical and institutional stages, prior to the electoral event, during its development and after it.

The work scheme of the CNE allows monitoring the electoral process in all its phases, from a legal, political and technical perspective. Venezuela's international electoral accompaniment is pioneering and is based on cooperation and respect among sovereign countries. It conforms to the principles established in the Venezuelan legal system on the subject, particularly the principles of constitutional supremacy, legality, sovereignty, integrity and territorial inviolability, peoples' self-determination, non-interference, impartiality, transparency and respect for the norms and electoral authorities.

What stages does the process of international electoral accompaniment in Venezuela fulfil?

There are three clearly established phases in the process:

The pre-electoral phase, in which electoral technicians, representatives of non-governmental organizations, experts and academics from various countries follow up on the audit process of the automated voting platform and the electoral instruments.

The electoral phase, in which the members of the accompaniment program monitor the campaign's closing activities and the holding of the elections.

Finally, the post-electoral phase, where international accompaniers witness the proclamation of the candidates and elected candidates as well as post-election audits.

At all stages, the accompanying persons interact with electoral authorities, technical teams of the CNE, electoral officials and with technical and political representatives of the participating political organizations, as well as with media, within the framework of the conditions set by the CNE.

What activities do international accompaniers fulfil?

The international companions fulfil the following activities:

• Participation in all audit activities of the electoral system before and after the electoral event.
• Visit to technical spaces and centres for production, storage and distribution of machines and electoral materials.
• Tour of the voting centres and contact with the officials in charge of the process, witnesses and citizens.
• Participation in the citizen's audit, which implies the opening of 54% of the boxes containing the voter's vouchers and their counting as a public act.
• Meetings with the technical teams of the CNE.
• Contacts with the media.
• Delivery of a report after the election to the Electoral Power about the results of the work carried out, including report of situations and recommendations.

What is the significance of the international electoral accompaniment in Venezuela?

The National Electoral Accompaniment Program of the National Electoral Council is based on the participation and encounter between peers, who by their current or previous condition of organizers or administrators of electoral processes, know the particularities of an electoral process, its complexities, the implications of each stage, of each decision that is made and of the contingencies and ways of resolving them as they may arise.

The program allows the exchange of experiences and enrichment between the accredited experts and the electoral authority, valuing knowledge among those who understand the value of electoral management, the way each electoral administrator resolves, improves and innovates its procedures and, above all, they can learn from the strengths of each country's voting systems. For this reason the international accompaniment of the electoral authorities is fundamental for the National Electoral Council.

New paradigms in international electoral cooperation

This new conception of electoral accompaniment is not exclusive to Venezuela. With the strengthening of democracy in Latin America and the Caribbean during the last decades, several countries move towards a new paradigm, moving from traditional Observation Missions of an invasive and tutelary nature, to processes of cooperation and institutional strengthening in electoral matters. The advances of other countries in the region in this area are notorious, while there are fewer and fewer countries that remain tied to the concepts that require the recognition or certification of organizations, countries or multilateral entities that are foreign to peoples and citizens.

The Venezuelan electoral system compared electoral systems of other countries

As shown in the following table, many countries do not contemplate nor establish in their legislation nor allow any figure of foreign participation in their electoral processes, while others still maintain the concept of the Observation Missions, which constitutes a brake on their own political sovereignty. Venezuela incorporates a new figure that promotes the enrichment and verification of the absolute reliability of its electoral processes: the accompaniment.


Does NOT allow international electoral observation

Allows international electoral observation
















Costa Rica



























Which international organizations have participated in the Programs of International Accompaniment in electoral matters in Venezuela?

The National Electoral Council incorporates into the International Accompaniment Program a number of organizations and mechanisms for integration and coordination such as the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), the Common Market of the South (Mercosur), the Council of Latin American Electoral Experts (CEELA), the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America (ALBA) and the MERCOSUR Parliament (PARLASUR).

Countries such as the Russian Federation, India, the Philippines, the Republic of Mali and the Republic of South Korea, whose authorities and technicians have signed Cooperation and Exchange Agreements on technological-electoral development with the Venezuelan Electoral Power, participate in the International Accompaniment Program. The electoral bodies of member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union which have the intention of signing agreements, also participate in the Program.




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