EU Observers Positively Assess Venezuelan Elections But Note Several Violations

MEXICO CITY (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 24th November, 2021) The EU observer mission considers the conditions during the latest Venezuelan elections to be the best in the country in the past 20 years, though there have been several violations identified, Isabel Santos, the chief observer, said on Tuesday.

"The regional and municipal elections in Venezuela have been the first and very important attempt to return most of the opposition parties to the electoral race in Venezuela. They have proceeded in better conditions compared to previous periods. After being overhauled in May 2021, the National Electoral Council CNE has proven to be the most balanced electoral administration in Venezuela in 20 years, which became the key factor in restoring confidence in the country's political life. It (CNE) was able to improve the technical side of the elections through internal dialogue and effectively lead the preparation for the vote," Santos said as broadcast by NTN.

European observer mission, consisting of 136 people, began arriving in the country in October and visited all regions of the country. Despite a general positive outlook, the mission has identified a number of issues affecting the electoral process.

"The political campaign was nevertheless marked by extensive use of state resources. Although legal regulations impose sanctions for violations in campaign financing and advertising, the CNE did not punish violations... this suggests that the power of the council to enforce the regulation in this area must be strengthened," Santos said.

Additionally, the chief observer noted the lack of independence of the judiciary and the negative impact of local laws on the equality of conditions for candidates.

The EU mission will present the final report on the regional elections in Venezuela in January-February 2022, where it will provide recommendations for possible changes to improve future electoral processes.

Venezuela held regional and municipal elections on November 21. According to the latest CNE data after completing the vote count in 21 out of 23 states, representatives of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) will become governors in 18 states, while the opposition won in three states.