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Venezuelan Opposition Calls on Supporters to be Vigilant of Electoral “Fraud”

Caracas, September 27 2012 ( – Ramón Guillermo Aveledo, the Executive Secretary of the Venezuelan opposition coalition, the Roundtable of Democratic Unity (MUD), has added to existing concerns that the political organisation will not recognise the official outcome of the October presidential elections by stating that the MUD will only respect results that they consider to be “trustworthy”.

Aveledo made the comments in a meeting with National Electoral Council (CNE) representatives on Wednesday in Caracas, where he made a series of ambiguous remarks surrounding the elections and the CNE.

When asked whether the opposition would respect the results of the impending elections, Avelado replied that “political parties should be prepared to... I could respond in a different way but today we want to keep the peace,” he said.

The opposition politician also revealed that the MUD will use its own “systems” on the day of the elections in order to gauge the results.

“We will be prepared to receive those results and we will have our own systems in place to know what has happened...We hope that the CNE will give out the results as soon as they have them, and that those results are reliable,” commented Aveledo.

Avelado's comments come just two days after a highly controversial opinion piece was circulated in one of Venezuela's most popular private newspapers, El Universal.

The piece, called “Fraud is not Free” written by Yon Goicoechea, claims that the results of October 7 “will not be determined by facts, as today it is known that Henrique (Capriles) will win that contest. What there will be that night is a military decision that, being mistaken, will generate a massacre”.

The piece goes on to suggest that the CNE will commit a fraud during the elections and states that opposition supporters will take to the streets to defend their vote. Goicoecha also likens the October elections to the fall of the Soviet Union in Eastern Europe in 1989.

“The peaceful liberation processes of Eastern Europe can be more illustrative for us than those of the Middle East, because we are not armed,” continues the opinion article.

Goicoechea was one of the principal organisers of the 2007 protests by student groups opposed to the Chavez government. He won the Milton Friedman prize, worth US$50,000, in 2008.

The MUD's presidential candidate, Henrique Capriles Radonski, is due to come to the end of his campaign trail around the country on Saturday, when a rally will be held in Caracas. Speaking at his last stop in Maracay on Wednesday, Capriles stated that his “victory is nigh” and called on his supporters to go out and vote en masse.

“The victory of progress and the future is nigh, the only thing missing is to vote and to get other people to vote,” said Capriles.

Despite the opposition candidate's comments, the most recent voter intention poll to be carried out by opposition-oriented polling firm Datanalisis gives Chavez a 10 point lead over his opponent, with the current president garnering 49.4% support in the study and Capriles 34%.

Meanwhile the  latest poll by private firm Hinterlaces gives Chavez a 14 - 16% lead over his conservative rival. "We don't have a scenario in which Henrique Capriles wins," Hinterlaces director Oscar Schemel explained to press on Wednesday.

Earlier this week, North American investment bank Merril Lynch released the conclusions of a report which anticipates that Capriles will be unable to “close the current gap” between himself and Chavez, who the bank predicts will take the elections with a lead that will be “with a high probability, in the double digits”.

Chavez has consistently stated that he believes the opposition has a plan to contest the results released by the country's National Electoral Council (CNE) on October 7. The opposition is also circulating a leaflet called “Operation Watch Out,” which calls on their supporters to take to the streets on election day and stay there overnight in order to diminish the possibility of a “fraud” by the “deceitful and criminal government”.

Last week former US president Jimmy Carter stated that he considered the Venezuelan electoral system to be the most reliable in the world.

Published on Sep 28th 2012 at 12.09am