In order to leave no doubt that Venezuela is living in an autocracy, the Venezuelan Electoral Board (CNE) today approved which Electoral Registry will be used in a future referendum that has yet to be approved and/or requested by the Venezuelan National Assembly. Of course the request is coming, but the problem is that if Chavez is to get his illegal way and hold the referendum on February 15th. , everything has to be accelerated. Thus, the CNE approved that the Registry that will be used if/when/whenever this referendum occurs will be the Dec. 11th. Registry.
Which of course is absolutely unconstitutional…
Because Art. 64 of the Bolivarian Constitution of Venezuela says that any citizen eighteen years of age has the right to vote. This has always been interpreted as anyone who is 18 on the date of the vote, can register to vote and will vote in that election. Not doing this violates their rights.
Except for this referendum, because Chavez is above the law and the Constitution and his whim has to be satisfied.
Legality can only be complied with by opening the registry so that everyone who turns 18 by the date of the vote may register. But the regulations say that the registry has to be open for at least 30 days and the vote has to take place 90 days after the Registry has been closed so that people can check and change any errors or omissions in the new registry.
Except this time. I guess article 1 of the Bolivarian Constitution approved in 2000 should have said: Anything in this document can be violated if the autocrat so desires.
There is no way around this one, the CNE is violating the rights of everyone who turned 18 between the last vote and whatever date is estabished for the referendum. Their political rights are not being respected.
This represents the first formal violation of the laws and the Constitution in order to hold the referendum to allow for the indefinite reelection of autocrat Hugo Chavez.