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Venezuela's Recall Referendum

By Sol Maria Castro,

Updates on Verification Process of Presidential Recall Referendum Petition after 52 days.

§ Four days away from deadline, no definitive date to announce results yet. However, the opposition CD today demanded CNE announce results on the deadline they arbitrarily decided themselves.

§ A CD spokesman assured the press the Superior Technical Committee has not begun the revision of 96,000 presidential petition forms placed under observation.

§ Director Rodríguez announced those petition forms filled out by one person will NOT be deemed valid according to what Art. 22 and 29 of the Norms establish. (NB: Some centers had a table for elderly or handicapped people where one of the CNE appointed members will fill out the data, and the person will only sign and stamp fingerprint. That was also true of some itinerant petition forms collected in hospitals or nursery homes. Both processes had pro-government witnesses, who additionally co-signed the act of proceedings. Neither article alluded makes any reference to the same person filling out data; only to each person signing himself). Earlier, he had announced a sample of these forms would be considered before making a decision, as would a sample of fingerprints. Director Mejías has warned it “is not logical, legal or juridical, to change the criteria”

§ Proyecto Venezuela lawmaker Carlos Berrizbeitía warned “what is being cooked up here is a trick.”

§ 182 centers nationwide to update records and register new voters in the National Electoral Registry open Monday February 9 until May 1.

§ Director Zamora was outraged this weekend when Ministers Chacón (Information and Communication) and Cabello (Infrastructure) insisted there will be no PRR, and announced if 2 million signatures had to be rendered invalid, the CNE should do so.

§ The CNE should be selecting the company which will run the elections: Sbs, Indra Sistemas or T-kosa. According to a CD document submitted to the CNE, two of the bidding companies (Smartmatic and T-Kosa) do not have the certification from the countries where they manufacture their voting machines, which makes it impossible to audit them.

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