By Caribbean News Global
WASHINGTON, USA – The US Department of State has declared that “free elections are the path out of Venezuela’s deep political crisis” and “Venezuelans deserve an independent National Electoral Council (CNE)”. This denunciation is in light of Nicolás Maduro recent actions to “selected a CNE that will rubber-stamp its decisions and ignore the conditions required for free elections”.
US Department of State said: “Unfortunately, on June 12, the Maduro regime-controlled Supreme Court continued to manipulate the Venezuelan Constitution by illegally naming a new, regime-aligned National Electoral Council (CNE). The Venezuelan Constitution gives the democratically elected National Assembly the responsibility of electing the CNE members. Without following this process, elections that represent the will of the people are impossible”.
The Department of State previously stated, an independent CNE is a central prerequisite for free and fair elections.
A broadly acceptable, negotiated transitional government must be responsible for overseeing elections. Independent electoral authorities run and administer an election.
- A new, balanced, and independent National Electoral Commission (CNE) – selected through the National Assembly – as constitutionally mandated – must spearhead the electoral process. This CNE should be named by the National Assembly as soon as possible in accordance with the constitution, in order to allow sufficient time to prepare for elections.
- A newly constituted, fair and independent supreme court, the TSJ, is a critical safeguard to ensure the principles of justice and protect the integrity of the election and the sanctity of each vote.
In the Venezuelan context, key areas includes:
- Lifting the ban on political parties and candidates;
- Lifting politically motivated judicial procedures against opposition politicians;
- Releasing all political prisoners;
- Respecting freedom of speech, the press, and association;
- Resolving in a transparent manner all the technical challenges to free and fair elections including registration of voters and the procurement and handling of voting machines.
“The Venezuelan people demand and deserve free and fair elections. This step by the regime and its Supreme Court takes Venezuela even further away from a democratic transition,” said US Department of State.