Luis Emilio Rondon, one of the rectors at the Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE), has decried a decision by the Tribunal Supremo de Justicia (TSJ) yesterday that, according to him, gives the Maduro regime a free pass to commit electoral fraud in the upcoming October 15 gubernatorial elections.
During a press conference earlier today, Rondon qualified the ruling yesterday as unacceptable because it “changes the rules of the game” with just 10 days before the election.
The TSJ ruled yesterday that the CNE had to make changes to the ballots to accurately reflect who is running in the October 15 election no more than 10 days before the vote. Because the TSJ’s decision came yesterday, October 5, the CNE is unable to meet the 10 day requirement, thereby rendering the TSJ’s decision meaningless.
The decision came after the opposition asked the TSJ to weigh in on the fact that the CNE is refusing to update the ballots to reflect changes in opposition candidacies, in particular following the September 10 primary vote. By refusing to make the chances, the CNE is guaranteeing that opposition candidates who have dropped from the race will still appear on ballots on October 15, a fact that the opposition claims will lead to electors inadvertently voting for opposition candidates who are no longer running.
Economist: Poorest Venezuelans Spend 90% of Earnings on Food
Economist Asdrubal Oliveros revealed some economic information today, including the fact that Venezuelan’s poorest spend 90% of their earnings on food. The figure was revealed during an economic forum hosted by the Ecoanalitica economic firm, which is headed by Oliveros.
Oliveros also revealed that Venezuela’s GDP is expected to shrink by 14.1% by the end of the year, signifying the continuation of the country’s catastrophic economic collapse.
The average Venezuelan does not fare much better, Oliveros pointed out: a worker living on the average income spends 83% of it on food.
2017 Inflation Expected to Hit 1,438%
During the same forum, Oliveros presented data suggesting that the country’s inflation rate would hit a staggering 1,438% by the end of the year, far surpassing the 2016 inflation rate of 550%.
Calling the inflation rate a sign that Venezuela had entered “a higher stage” of its economic crisis, Oliveros suggested that the figures suggested that the country might in fact be entering a hyperinflationary spiral.
Earlier in the day, National Assembly deputy Angel Alvarado had announced that parliamentary estimates of the inflation rate placed the figure at 536.5% for the year so far, with a jump of 36.3% in September alone.
Maduro Signs 5-Point Agreement with Erdogan
Maduro entered the last leg of his trip through Europe this week, visiting Turkey’s Recep Erdogan in Ankara.
Following the meeting between the two leaders, Maduro said that he had signed a five-point agreement with Erdogan with the goal of “diversifying our relations, widening them and starting a new phase” with Turkey.
The agreement’s five points are:
- Exploring the possibility of creating an Istanbul-Caracas airline link.
- A tourism agreement that will last until 2019.
- An undisclosed “economic and commercial cooperation” agreement.
- An agreement to develop agricultural technology.
- An security agreement, including a commitment to fight transnational crime.
Maduro also received an honour title from the Turkish government, naming him an “Eternal Friend” of Ankara.
Below, a collection of images of Maduro’s visit to a monument in honour of modern-day-Turkey’s founder, Mustafa Ataturk:
Below, images showing Maduro alongside Erdogan earlier today:
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