May 14, 2004

Is this an ambiguous sentence?

CNE recall regulations, artitcle 31...

...el elector que alegue que no firmó la planilla, podrá acudir al Consejo Nacional Electoral a los fines de solicitar su exclusión inmediata del cómputo de las firmas..."

"...electors who allege that they did not sign the petition form may go to the National Electoral Council to petition their immediate exclusion from the signature tally..."

Is this a difficult statement? Do you find it confusing? Ambiguous? Open to interpretation? Grab the nearest 11 year old, read it to him. Did he understand? Was he confused? What part of "electors who allege they did not sign the petition" is hard to understand?

Please note that it was the current CNE itself that drafted and approved article 31. Now, lets look at what Carter Center/OAS actually had to say about it:
"We understand that the purpose of the reparo period, established by the CNE in the current regulations (Article 31 of the Reparo Regulation dated Sept. 25) is to guarantee the citizens' free expression of will. These regulations establish that individuals who have had their signature invalidated due to a material error by the CNE during the verification can now include their signature as valid, and those who allege that they did not sign can exclude and invalidate their signature. In both cases, the goal is to avoid new verifications, and the simple manifestation of the citizen is sufficient. Thus, according to the CNE regulations and all international standards, the act of petition signing-the same as the act of voting-is a singular expression of will that cannot be subsequently changed during the reparos."

"Both the OAS and The Carter Center are deeply concerned by reports of intimidation of signers. We reiterate that each individual signer should be able to freely exercise his/her right to reparo, without harassment or coercion, whether it is exercised directly, or indirectly through the deprivation of rights or benefits to which all should have equal access."

When the opposition made this point, we were ignored. When Carter Center/OAS make it, they're threatened with expulsion. CNE insists that the opposition agreed to a new set of reparo regulations that means anyone can withdraw their signatures without having to answer questions, meaning people who did intentionally sign will be able to "repent" and withdraw their signatures. Is that what article 31 says? Read it carefully, one more time. Is it alarming that Carter Center and the OAS are being threatened with expulsion for saying out loud what is plainly evident?