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Carter Center will send observers to Venezuelan election, but fraud concerns persist

Antonio Maria Delgado, Miami Herald on

Published in Political News

The Carter Center has agreed to send observers to the upcoming Venezuelan election, amid concerns that the July 28 presidential contest will lack sufficient independent monitors to ensure the legitimacy of its results.

The decision, initially reported by Bloomberg, was made public three weeks after the Venezuela’s National Electoral Council, an entity tightly controlled by the Nicolas Maduro government, decided to ban an estimated 100 observers from the European Union from monitoring the election.

Concerns about fraud have increased following the news that the governments of Colombia and Brazil, considered to be allies to the Caracas regime, will not send their own observers even though they were among the first to recommend to the Venezuelan ruler that he should hold elections in order to reestablish his questioned legitimacy.

Observers from the Organization of American States were not invited to participate, and following the decision from the Atlanta-based Carter Center, the other major international group that has yet to say if it will send observers is the United Nations.

Other groups expected to participate include the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, an organization promoted by the late Venezulan ruler Hugo Chávez to counterbalance the OAS; the Inter-American Union of Electoral Bodies and the bloc of Caribbean nations known as CARICOM.

The United States and more than 50 other countries had declared that Maduro was illegally occupying the Venezuelan presidency after accusing him of committing fraud in the 2018 presidential election.

 

Maduro is currently trailing opposition candidate Edmundo González in the polls by 40 percentage points and his campaign efforts have done little to improve a popular support level fluctuating near 10%.

His main efforts, however, appear to be directed at discouraging Venezuelans from participating in González’s campaign, arresting several volunteers in the past few weeks and threatening to take action against small companies providing logistical support.

Maduro had previously banned the candidacy of main opposition leader Maria Corina Machado, who had won a primary after getting more than 92% of the vote. The Maduro government then banned the proxy candidate Machado chose to run in her place.

González, a virtual political unknown whose candidacy was not blocked by the electoral council, suddenly became a major threat for Maduro after he received the support of Machado and the other top opposition leaders.


©2024 Miami Herald. Visit at miamiherald.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

 

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