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OAS WILL NOT OBSERVE VENEZUELAN ELECTIONS

Press release

October 15, 2004 - The Organization of American States (OAS) today notified Venezuela’s National Electoral Council that it has declined its invitation to send an electoral observation mission to accompany the October 31 elections in that country.

“Unfortunately, the proximity of the electoral process impedes us from having the necessary time to organize a mission able to meet all the technical, operational and financial requirements that an observation at this level demands,” said the Director of the OAS Department for Democratic and Political Affairs, John Biehl del Río, in a letter addressed to the President of the National Electoral Council, Francisco Carrasquero. He also noted that the OAS and Carter Center have emphasized in their respective reports that “the negotiations that took place to guarantee the success of the international observation in the previous Venezuelan elections transpired over a prolonged period of time which is not available now.”

Referring to the National Electoral Council’s invitation, sent on October 7, Biehl del Río expressed his hope that in the future the necessary requirements could be met so that a collaboration between the OAS and the Venezuelan authorities “may contribute to the strengthening of the principles of transparency, impartiality, trust and objectivity that the National Electoral Council has underscored in its previous communication.”

Meanwhile, in Washington today the OAS representative called on the people of Venezuela to participate in these important elections. “We trust that Venezuelans will demonstrate their great civic and democratic values,” affirmed Biehl del Río.



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