Electoral Council Accepts OAS and Carter Center as Observers for Petition Verification

Organization of American States and the Carter Center will participate in the verification of millions of recall referenda petition signatures, against legislators and President Chavez.

The National Electoral Council (CNE) said that it would accept the Organization of American States and the Carter Center as observers during the verification of the recall petition signatures. As for the participation of other witnesses during the process, the CNE has not yet made a decision on the issue.

The CNE has thirty days now to verify at least three million signatures for the presidential recall referendum, two million for the referenda against opposition legislators, and another million

With regard to a proposal made by the opposition party Primero Justicia (Justice First) to move up the date of the recall referendum, Francisco Carrasquero, the CNE’s president, called the proposal “reckless.”

Also rejected was the proposal that the Attorney General’s office designates a special ad hoc commission to investigate the charges of fraud. According to Ezequiel Zamora, who is the vice-president of the CNE, “Only if the CNE discovers electoral crimes, will it put the attorney general’s office in charge of initiating the procedures that correspond to that office.”