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On the eve of what is widely predicted to be the biggest electoral loss in the PSUV’s history, Maduro backtracked on weeks of fiery rhetoric and said that his government would accept tomorrow’s electoral results “no matter what they may be”. Maduro made the comments from the Miraflores Palace in Caracas earlier today.

While Maduro had said on one than more occasion that the Bolivarian revolution would not accept a defeat in the elections tomorrow, he tempered his tone today and said:

Whatever the [electorate] says will be like word from on high. We are not adventurers or crazy. We are men and women who’ve matured after many struggles.

Maduro also summarized the last day before the election, saying:

We’ve had a day of preparation dedicated to the [election] witnesses and the international observers. We’ve prepared everything so that our people can exercise one of the types of sovereignty outlined in the constitution [so that they] can decide who their deputies will be.

CNE: 100% Of Voting Centers Ready

Tibisay Lucena, the head of the Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE), announced today that 100% of voting centres in the country were up and ready for tomorrow’s election.

Lucena also said that the campaign was “not dirty”, although she did concede that electoral laws were broken. On the overall tone of the campaign, Lucena said:

The campaign has been a bit different from others because it’s been more intense. Also, there’s been a political group that has been very active on the streets, while another has been active through the media and social media. Each side has its political strategies.

Despite Lucena’s repeated assertions that the Venezuelan electoral system is fraud-proof, opposition figure Maria Corina Machado called on the CNE to follow its own protocols when confirming the results of the election. Machado pointed out that while electoral protocols call for 54% of voting centres to confirm the votes cast on their respective voting machines with the paper verification ballots, no election in the country has ever reached that level of scrutiny. Machado said:

Until now, 17% is the highest number of [verification] ballot boxes opened, while electoral protocols call for 54%.

When Venezuelans vote in elections, they cast their ballots electronically through voting machines. Once an elector has cast a vote, the machine prints out a kind of receipt that indicates who the elector voted for. The elector places the verification ballot in a box corresponding to the machine used to vote. By checking the verification ballots, observers are able to confirm if the votes actually cast match what the verification ballots indicate.

MoD: Paramilitary Attacks Along Border Possible Tomorrow

Minister of Defense Vladimir Padrino Lopez announced today that his office had received information that “paramilitary violence” could break out in Tachira state along the Colombia border, although he provided no more information.

Lopez: Vote “Is a Duty”

Leopoldo Lopez’s wife, Lilian Tintori, published comments made by her husband inside the Ramo Verde military prison on the importance of tomorrow’s election.

Lopez called the elections “a crucial moment for Venezuela”, and continued:

Some may ask, “What’s the point of voting if we live in a dictatorship?” Because we cannot let them take anything freely – anything! Voting in a dictatorship is not only a right, but a duty. The vote is one of the tools available to us to fight (…) Voting in a dictatorship is an act of protest and of democratic rebellion, and it is worth while.

Commentary

Tomorrow’s update will cover the most important day in the history of Venezuela since I started writing this blog on February 24, 2014.

The country faces its most serious crisis in living memory. Millions of Venezuelans will go to sleep tonight unsure of what kind of country they’ll be living in twenty four hours from now. What happens tomorrow will help decide how Venezuela deals with the issues that are destroying it today.


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

 

 

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