Four days after the controversial Constituent Assembly vote, the Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) has yet to release the final results of the proceedings, including the list of winners.
Unlike in previous elections when the CNE has released information including number of votes cast per candidate at the municipal level, the only piece of information that the electoral body has announced so far is the assertion, without evidence, that approximately 8 million people voted on Sunday’s election.
That claim was virtually disproven yesterday by SmartMatic, the company that provided the electronic machines for Sunday’s vote as well as other elections in Venezuela going back to 2004. Through a press release, the company took the unprecedented step of saying that it knew “without any doubt” that the CNE’s 8 million vote claim was incorrect, because the number did not correspond with the actual number of votes cast tabulated by the voting machines.
While SmartMatic would not say what the actual number of votes cast was pending the results of an internal audit, the company did reveal that the difference between the actual figure and that of the CNE differs “by at least one million votes”.
The winners of the election, whose identities are still unknown, are scheduled to be sworn in tomorrow.
Public Ministry Asks Court to Stop Constituent Assembly
The Public Ministry filed paperwork with a Caracas court requesting that it put a stop to the planned swearing in of the Constituent Assembly tomorrow, signalling the latest salvo from the institution against the Maduro regime.
Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz appeared to have hopes that the court would find that there is reason to believe that Sunday’s electoral results may have been fraudulent, given the growing mountain of evidence that this may in fact have been the case.
This move by the Public Ministry follows news yesterday that the institution had also launched a criminal investigation into four of the CNE’s rectors (Tibisay Lucena, Socorro Hernandez, Tania D’Amelio and Sandra Oblitas) for their alleged role in the fraud.
OAS Excludes CNE from Regional Electoral Authority Meeting
Luis Almagro, the head of the Organization of American States (OAS), announced today that the CNE would not be invited to the upcoming Inter-American Meeting of Electoral Authorities, which is scheduled to take place in Cartagena on October 26-27 of this year.
Almagro explained the logic behind the CNE’s exclusion from the event:
An electoral institution that has demonstrated that it is at the service of a dictatorial regime cannot be asked to sit at the hemisphere’s democratic table.
Almagro also lamented the fact that the CNE’s unashamed partisanship had “damaged” the possibility of an electoral solution to the Venezuelan crisis, and said that it had “violated the political rights of Venezuelans” by manipulating the results of Sunday’s vote.
NGO Counts 6,729 Protest Events Since April 1
The Observatorio Venezolano de Conflictividad Social [Venezuelan Social Conflict Watch] (OVCS) announced today that it had counted 6,729 protest events since between April 1 and July 31, for an average rate of 56 protests per day. The figure represents a 157% increase from the same period last year.
The number of protests help to quantify the level of discontent with the Maduro regime. This latest round of protests began on April 1, after the opposition called for nationwide demonstrations that day to reject a pair of Supreme Court decisions that virtually killed the National Assembly.
The OVCS’ figures show that Caracas saw the highest number of protests during this time (989), followed by Miranda state (929) and Lara (527). The sparsely-populated an largely rural Delta Amacuro state saw the fewest number of protests (41).
The OVCS also revealed that 22 out of the country’s 24 states saw protests on July 30 against the Constituent Assembly vote, which took place the next day.
Man Dies From Injuries Sustained in July 30 Protest
25-year-old Johnny Colmenares died today in the town of Lobatera, Tachira state after succumbing to injuries sustained at an anti-regime protest there on July 30.
According to El Nacional, Colmenares was protesting against the Maduro regime that day when he was attacked by a regime militia known locally as a colectivo armado. The colectivo brutally beat Colmenares and doused him in gasoline with the intention of burning him alive, but were not successful in their attempt.
Colmenares was taken to hospital after the attack, where he died today.
Colmenares is the 130th person to die during the anti-regime unrest since April 1.
Six Venezuelans Taking Refuge In Chilean Embassy in Caracas
There are currently six Venezuelan citizens taking refuge inside the Chilean embassy in Caracas, according to the country’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Heraldo Muñóz. The individuals include three opposition-appointed magistrates to the Tribunal Supremo de Justicia–Luis Marcano Salazar, Zuleima Del Valle González, Beatriz Ruiz, José Fernando Núñez, Elenis Del Valle–as well as Roberto Enriquez, the head of the COPEI party.
The six, who did not all arrive together, have requested protection from the Chilean government in the face of what they claim is political persecution from the Maduro regime.
Opposition Moves Protest to Tomorrow
An opposition march in Caracas that was scheduled to take place today starting at noon was moved at the last minute to tomorrow at the same time. The change in the opposition’s plan is a reaction to a similar announcement by Maduro last night, who moved the swearing in ceremony of Constituent Assembly winners from today to tomorrow.
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