More on Venezuela's recall referendum results...
By Aleksander Boyd
London 29.08.05 | Jorge Rodriguez, the almighty head of Venezuela's National Electoral Council (CNE), presented recently with great pomp a book entitled "15.08.04 Una experiencia democrática Referendo Revocatorio Presidencial" (translation 15.08.05 a democratic experience presidential recall referendum). One must assume that Rodriguez feels very proud of his performance as head of the CNE and for that reason had a book produced in which, talking in the first person, he entertains readers with all sorts of personal and subjective views about Venezuela, its electoral entity and processes.
However someone within his 'independent electoral' institution decided to play mind games with this shrink cum electoral supremo. In page 118 of the book there's a pie chart of the referendum results which, unequivocally, shows 59.25% of the votes going to the SI option -Hugo Chavez to be recalled- and 40.75% favouring the NO option (Chavez to remain in power). He immediately ordered to stop distribution and all copies to be collected, alas the cat was already out. The original, and the mentioned chart, can be seen here.
But that's not all. CNN.com - World News Election Watch shows the very same, purportedly wrong, results;
Results of the Referendum:
- Valid "Yes" Votes: 5,800,629
Percentage of "Yes" Votes: 59.25%
- Valid "No" Votes: 3,989,008
Percentage of "No" Votes: 40.75%
If one follows the link to IFES ELECTIONGUIDE ONLINE for additional information at the bottom of the said page one finds, yet again, similar results; although this time round the percentage of valid "YES votes" is 61.10%:
August 15, 2004
Presidential Recall Referendum
[69.92% of registered voters]
[99.74% of votes cast]
[0.26% of votes cast]
|TYPE OF VOTE||VALID VOTES||[% OF VALID VOTES]|
Let us remember that the Carter Center deployed a certified electoral observation mission in Venezuela for the presidential recall referendum and, this is no small and, is the sole subcontractor of IFES according to USAID.
So how can this be interpreted? It is a known fact that both Carter Center and the OAS did an extremely negligent job at observing the recall referendum. It is also public knowledge that none of the international observers were permitted to witness the main tallying process in the CNE's totalization room upon conclusion of the vote, as was publicly admitted by OAS Secretary Cesar Gaviria. Additionaly, Carter Center's Director Jennifer McCoy stated, with respect to the controversial second audit of August 18th "The second audit was also an exercise of the CNE..." (sic). Who gave IFES the abovementioned data if not the Carter Center, its sole subcontractor; the CNE perhaps?
More on Venezuela's recall referendum results... [part II]
By Aleksander Boyd
London 29.08.05 | I have just realised that the wording of the recall referendum's question as it appears in the CNN.com - World News Election Watch:
Voters were asked whether incumbent President Hugo CHAVEZ Frias should stay in office as president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
is different from the one presented to the Venezuelan electorate:
Do you agree to leave without effect the popular mandate given through legitimate democratic elections to the citizen Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías as president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for the current presidential period?
As such I do apologize to aggravated parties and readers of this site for this gross oversight on my part. A YES vote to the question, as cited by CNN, is equal to a NO vote in the official question, thus 5,800,629 people voted in favour of Chavez's stay in office as president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
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