The controversy surrounding the Consejo Nacional Electoral‘s refusal to announce the exact dates for this year’s parliamentary elections continued to brew today as opposition figures levelled more criticism at the organization’s president, Tibisay Lucena.

Former National Assembly deputy Maria Corina Machado accused Lucena and the rest of the CNE leadership of becoming an appendage of Maduro’s office. Through her Twitter account, Machado said:

To begin with, you [Lucena] and the rest of the [CNE] leadership do not meet the constitutional criteria to serve your posts, and people know this (…) You and the rest of the CNE leadership have allowed the obscene use of public resources [for government campaigns] as well as the participation of public officials in campaigns without saying a word.

In Venezuela, votes are submitted at electronic voting machines around the country, but a paper trail exists to corroborate the machine’s tallies are correct. Machado criticized the CNE for its insistence on not counting the paper ballots, instead relying on electronic tallies. She also said that the fact that people have to sign-in to the voting machines via fingerprint scanners “scare voters into wondering how secret their vote really is”.

Machado concluded by saying:

Thanks to you, the CNE is not a transparent or impartial ‘electoral administrator’, [but instead] violates the constitution (…) That the people don’t trust the CNE is a logical conclusion from your work, which has time and again violated popular sovereignty.

Capriles Also Takes Aim Against CNE

Speaking form an event in Valles del Tuy, Miranda state, governor Henrique Capriles took the opportunity to speak out against the CNE and the secrecy surrounding this year’s parliamentary elections.

Capriles suggested that the uncertainty and doubt surrounding the election’s date might be part of a government strategy to dishearten Venezuelan voters:

This government takes away hope from Venezuelans every day, because they want them to become pessimistic and throw in the towel. This is evidenced by the fact that they have yet to publish the date of the parliamentary elections this year. Tibisay Lucena came out recently and said that they would take place at the end of the year. What are they afraid of?

Turning from the issue of the elections, Capriles reiterated his belief that the PSUV’s system of government has proven to be a disastrous failure:

The government’s model is that which we’re living: long lines, no production, expropriations, confiscations and control. They don’t support national producers to help us overcome this crisis in which they’ve placed us.

Questions/Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com

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