Archive for March 15th, 2004

Revisiting the female terrorists of the opposition

March 15, 2004


Remember the picture of the lady on the left? Well, Pedro sent in the picture on the right that shows how she violently attacked  the National Guard during the Feb. 27th. demonstration. Note the menacing flag on her left hand and the hanky on her right hand to protect herself from the tear gas all around her. With people like her on my side, how can I get negative?

Electoral Hall rules signatures under observation are valid

March 15, 2004

The Electoral Hall of the Venezuelan Supreme Court ruled today that the more than 800 thousand signatures placed under observation by the Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) were valid and thus the opposition has 2.7 million valid signatures to request the recall referendum against Hugo Chavez. Moreover, the Hall also ruled that the more than 39 thousand forms (each with up to ten signatures) which were disqualified due to technical problems in the cover sheets had to be admitted for the ratification process guaranteed by law. The Hall orders the CNE to hold the ratification process in which those whose signatures are invalid can ratify that they did sign or citizens whose signatures are valid but did not sign, can go say that they did not participate.


Let me first explain a little how the Venezuelan Supreme Court works. The Court in Venezuela is divided in Halls by subjects (Art. 262) and there is the full Court which encompasses all Justices in the Halls. Each Hall has equal level within the Court and no Hall can overstep its boundaries. If there is a conflict between Halls is had to be decided by the full Court.


 


Decisions by the Halls are taken by a majority of the Hall. Meetings of the Halls are called ahead of time and if there is quorum, the decisions are valid. Each Hall has a different number of members, the Electoral hall has three members and the Constitutional hall has five members. Obviously, the Electoral Hall decides on Electoral matters.


 


Last Thursday, the Constitutional Hall decided that the Electoral Hall could not decide on the case, because it was itself considering the case. However, that decision was issued without there being a quorum present, thus it had no validity. And this was the point in which Justice Martini, the President of the Electoral Hall, began the announcement of the decision by the Electoral Hall. First, he showed an affidavit signed by two of the five Justices of the Constitutional Hall in which they said that the meeting to consider the case was never called and they were not invited and that they did not participate in such a meeting. Thus, the order by the Constitutional Hall to abstain from ruling in the case was not legal.


 


The President of the Electoral Hall was very harsh with the members of the Constitutional Hall, asking them if they pretended with this fraud to the law to violate legal order by asking the Electoral Hall to abstain without there being a decision by the Hall. The decision by the Hall basically says that the decision by the CNE is illegal since it was made after the regulations were issued and says excluding the others is also in violation of the regulations and the Constitutional rights of those that signed the petition.


 


What next? Well, two parties that back Chavez have said they will ask for an injunction from the constitutional Hall. There is no Jurisprudence for a decision by the Supreme Court to be reviewed or for an injunction to be granted on such a decision. Even if the Constitution Hall decided on such an injunction or reviewed the case, the Electoral Hall could say there is a conflict between the two Halls and only the full Court could decide on the issue. Reportedly, the full Court would not rule against the Electoral hall and may actually in its favor. In both cases, the decision would stand.


 


The President of the Constitutional Hall ratified today that their decision last Thursday was legal, that he had call for a meeting at 2:30 PM in which all four Justices required by law attended and three of them voted in favor. However, the media says that at that time, the President of the Court was meeting with the Cabinet’s lawyer. Moreover, the letter itself may represent fraud as it says that the decision was ready and the fourth Justice had not read the decision. Thus, Ivan Rincon (A second Rincon who is a big liar) confesses in his hastily written letter that he did not follow procedure. (It also shows he is not very competent as a lawyer)


 


From a practical point of view, the CNE has to begin organizing the ratification procedure and abide by the decision by the Electoral Hall. The Hall not only validated the signatures, but it told it to have 2700 centers and have five days for the process. After this, if not enough signatures are invalidated by the people themselves, they will have to hold the recall referendum against President Chavez.


 


Thus, a new complexity is introduced into an already tense and confusing situation. To me, the whole thing is absolutely bizarre. When Justices of the Supreme Court accuse each other of unethical acts. When Justices accuse each other of lying. When Justices decide simply based on partisan politics, I can’t help but be very negative on the future of this country. From a legal point of view, it was very clear to me that all the Halls of the Supreme Court had to rule the way the Electoral Hall did today. You can’t change the laws and regulations at your convenience. But today, it seems as if the Justices of the Constitutional Hall may now be ready to do it again. If they do it, can we appeal it to anyone?


 


(Isaias Rodriguez, the Attorney  General who is always slow and quiet in major issues such as repression has already criticized the decision by the Electoral Hall, can the People’s Ombudsman be far behind, since he never defends the people?)

Electoral Hall rules signatures under observation are valid

March 15, 2004

The Electoral Hall of the Venezuelan Supreme Court ruled today that the more than 800 thousand signatures placed under observation by the Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) were valid and thus the opposition has 2.7 million valid signatures to request the recall referendum against Hugo Chavez. Moreover, the Hall also ruled that the more than 39 thousand forms (each with up to ten signatures) which were disqualified due to technical problems in the cover sheets had to be admitted for the ratification process guaranteed by law. The Hall orders the CNE to hold the ratification process in which those whose signatures are invalid can ratify that they did sign or citizens whose signatures are valid but did not sign, can go say that they did not participate.


Let me first explain a little how the Venezuelan Supreme Court works. The Court in Venezuela is divided in Halls by subjects (Art. 262) and there is the full Court which encompasses all Justices in the Halls. Each Hall has equal level within the Court and no Hall can overstep its boundaries. If there is a conflict between Halls is had to be decided by the full Court.


 


Decisions by the Halls are taken by a majority of the Hall. Meetings of the Halls are called ahead of time and if there is quorum, the decisions are valid. Each Hall has a different number of members, the Electoral hall has three members and the Constitutional hall has five members. Obviously, the Electoral Hall decides on Electoral matters.


 


Last Thursday, the Constitutional Hall decided that the Electoral Hall could not decide on the case, because it was itself considering the case. However, that decision was issued without there being a quorum present, thus it had no validity. And this was the point in which Justice Martini, the President of the Electoral Hall, began the announcement of the decision by the Electoral Hall. First, he showed an affidavit signed by two of the five Justices of the Constitutional Hall in which they said that the meeting to consider the case was never called and they were not invited and that they did not participate in such a meeting. Thus, the order by the Constitutional Hall to abstain from ruling in the case was not legal.


 


The President of the Electoral Hall was very harsh with the members of the Constitutional Hall, asking them if they pretended with this fraud to the law to violate legal order by asking the Electoral Hall to abstain without there being a decision by the Hall. The decision by the Hall basically says that the decision by the CNE is illegal since it was made after the regulations were issued and says excluding the others is also in violation of the regulations and the Constitutional rights of those that signed the petition.


 


What next? Well, two parties that back Chavez have said they will ask for an injunction from the constitutional Hall. There is no Jurisprudence for a decision by the Supreme Court to be reviewed or for an injunction to be granted on such a decision. Even if the Constitution Hall decided on such an injunction or reviewed the case, the Electoral Hall could say there is a conflict between the two Halls and only the full Court could decide on the issue. Reportedly, the full Court would not rule against the Electoral hall and may actually in its favor. In both cases, the decision would stand.


 


The President of the Constitutional Hall ratified today that their decision last Thursday was legal, that he had call for a meeting at 2:30 PM in which all four Justices required by law attended and three of them voted in favor. However, the media says that at that time, the President of the Court was meeting with the Cabinet’s lawyer. Moreover, the letter itself may represent fraud as it says that the decision was ready and the fourth Justice had not read the decision. Thus, Ivan Rincon (A second Rincon who is a big liar) confesses in his hastily written letter that he did not follow procedure. (It also shows he is not very competent as a lawyer)


 


From a practical point of view, the CNE has to begin organizing the ratification procedure and abide by the decision by the Electoral Hall. The Hall not only validated the signatures, but it told it to have 2700 centers and have five days for the process. After this, if not enough signatures are invalidated by the people themselves, they will have to hold the recall referendum against President Chavez.


 


Thus, a new complexity is introduced into an already tense and confusing situation. To me, the whole thing is absolutely bizarre. When Justices of the Supreme Court accuse each other of unethical acts. When Justices accuse each other of lying. When Justices decide simply based on partisan politics, I can’t help but be very negative on the future of this country. From a legal point of view, it was very clear to me that all the Halls of the Supreme Court had to rule the way the Electoral Hall did today. You can’t change the laws and regulations at your convenience. But today, it seems as if the Justices of the Constitutional Hall may now be ready to do it again. If they do it, can we appeal it to anyone?


 


(Isaias Rodriguez, the Attorney  General who is always slow and quiet in major issues such as repression has already criticized the decision by the Electoral Hall, can the People’s Ombudsman be far behind, since he never defends the people?)

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