June 9, 2004

The good, the bad, and the ambiguous

The announcement was made by CNE chairman Francisco Carrasquero.

The good: The recall referendum date has finally been set. According to Descifrado, the opposition will get the "yes" side. Opposition negotiators are working out the details of the e-voting system with CNE.

The bad: The date is August 15th, not August 8th. There will be no on-the-spot verification of automated results.

The ambiguous: Ezequiel Zamora says there is an agreement that, if the "yes" campaign wins, Chavez's recall will be effective on August 15th - not on the date results are made public. Recall that this is important because if Chavez is recalled after the 19th, instead of a new election we get his vicepresident for two years. However, since only Zamora said this, and the CNE resolution calling the vote is not yet public, it's impossible to know if this will hold. Also, the vote on the date was 4 to 1, with the chavista hardliner - Oscar Battaglini - voting against.