Venezuela’s Electoral Council Opens Probe into Violation of Regulations in Lara

Three news agencies and the incumbent state governor for Lara, Henri Falcon, have been accused of breaking electoral regulations.


Venezuelan National Electoral Council headquarters in Caracas. (archive)
By Rachael Boothroyd Rojas
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Bogota, October 12 2017 ( - Venezuela’s electoral council [CNE] has announced that it will open up an administrative investigation into a potential violation of electoral regulations in Lara.

The news agencies El Impulso, El Informador and La Prensa, as well as incumbent state governor Henri Falcon, published the results of a survey on upcoming regional elections this Sunday. 

But article 82 of the national Law of Electoral Processes (LOPE) forbids the “publishing or circulating through any means of communication, social or otherwise, in the seven days preceding the vote, the results of surveys or opinion questionnaires, aimed at making public the preferences or voting intentions of the electorate”. 

Falcon, who is standing as a candidate for the upcoming state governor elections, has yet to respond to the allegations. 

Meanwhile, a party from Venezuela’s political opposition coalition, the Roundtable of Democratic Unity, filed an appeal with the Supreme Court (TSJ) Tuesday, asking the body to clarify if the CNE should accept the substitution of opposition candidates. The action is the latest in an ongoing feud between the coalition and the CNE surrounding the legal time-lapse for modifying candidates for Sunday’s elections. 

Following the results of its primaries in September, opposition spokespeople have argued that the electoral body must accept candidate changes ten days prior to elections according to article 62 of the LOPE. However, the CNE says that the cut-off date for candidate substitutions was August 16, and that this date was previously agreed with opposition leaders.

The opposition formerly challenged the CNE’s stance at the Supreme Court, but the TSJ ruled that the law grants the electoral body leeway to “establish the opportunity for carrying out a substitution and modification phase for nominal postulations, so long as it does not exceed the maximum limit of ten days prior to the occurrence of the vote”. 

According to the LOPE, organisations can change their candidates up to ten days before the election in the event of "death, resignation, and mental or physical incapacity”. 

The CNE says that it processed 199 substitutions prior to the August cut-off date.