Archive for September 22nd, 2003

The timeline for decisions on referenda in Venezuela in the last nine months

September 22, 2003

 


We Venezuelans are very involved with the day to day going ons of the politics of our country. But try to imagine you did not know anything about Venezuela and what has happened and someone told you the following timeline for our requests for referenda during the last year:


 


-January: Opposition gathers the required signatures for a consultative referendum as allowed by the country’s Constitution on any important issue. The issue: Do you agree with the President’s handling of the country?


Result: Supreme Court Rules that the Electoral Board can only make decisions with four votes out of the five members. Given that one of them is pro-Chavez this would be impossible.


 


-February: An alternate member of the electoral Board who had resigned announces that since his resignation was never accepted by the National Assembly he will rejoin the Board.


Result: Supreme Court rules that he can not occupy the position and that the Electoral Board can fulfill all its duties but organize elections until a new Board is selected by the National Assembly. (Note, the Court never said the consultative referendum was not legal)


 


-February: Opposition gathers over the 20% of signatures necessary for a recall referendum which can not be requested until August.


 


-August: The President-controlled National Assembly fails to name the new Electoral Board, the Supreme Court steps in and a Board is named.


 


-August: Opposition turns in the signatures for the recall referendum


 


-September: New Electoral Board rejects the more than there million signatures requesting the referendum. The arguments: Badly posed question, untimely gathering of signatures and organization that collected signatures has no legal status to do it.


 


-September: New Electoral Board drafts regulations which would imply the recall referendum may not take place for at least seven moths.


 


What’s next? Is this reasonable? Isn’t there a pattern here? Is the world so stupid? Are we so stupid? You be the judge

The timeline for decisions on referenda in Venezuela in the last nine months

September 22, 2003

 


We Venezuelans are very involved with the day to day going ons of the politics of our country. But try to imagine you did not know anything about Venezuela and what has happened and someone told you the following timeline for our requests for referenda during the last year:


 


-January: Opposition gathers the required signatures for a consultative referendum as allowed by the country’s Constitution on any important issue. The issue: Do you agree with the President’s handling of the country?


Result: Supreme Court Rules that the Electoral Board can only make decisions with four votes out of the five members. Given that one of them is pro-Chavez this would be impossible.


 


-February: An alternate member of the electoral Board who had resigned announces that since his resignation was never accepted by the National Assembly he will rejoin the Board.


Result: Supreme Court rules that he can not occupy the position and that the Electoral Board can fulfill all its duties but organize elections until a new Board is selected by the National Assembly. (Note, the Court never said the consultative referendum was not legal)


 


-February: Opposition gathers over the 20% of signatures necessary for a recall referendum which can not be requested until August.


 


-August: The President-controlled National Assembly fails to name the new Electoral Board, the Supreme Court steps in and a Board is named.


 


-August: Opposition turns in the signatures for the recall referendum


 


-September: New Electoral Board rejects the more than there million signatures requesting the referendum. The arguments: Badly posed question, untimely gathering of signatures and organization that collected signatures has no legal status to do it.


 


-September: New Electoral Board drafts regulations which would imply the recall referendum may not take place for at least seven moths.


 


What’s next? Is this reasonable? Isn’t there a pattern here? Is the world so stupid? Are we so stupid? You be the judge

Who do you think is the criminal here?

September 22, 2003


A former worker of PDVSA, Wilmer Rangel, was taking pictures of an oil spill on Monday September 15th. 2003 in the company of his wife. They are both detained and freed four days later. They are released on the conditions that:


 


-They have to visit the Court every fifteen days.


-They are prohibited from being close to where the “crime” took place and from all oil industry facilities.


-They can not leave the country without express authorization from the Court.


 


Who is the criminal here?

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