October 5, 2005

Groping for a Coherent Stance on CNE

The political opposition (i.e. the anti-Chavez political class) has painted itself into a strange corner over the upcoming elections. After months of saying there was massive fraud in the recall referendum, they've turned on a dime and put together a single slate of candidate for Dec. 4th's parliamentary vote. But there was no very coherent explanation for the turn-around, because they've never renegued on their original fraud allegations. So their line, as it stands, goes something like "CNE cheated last year, and now CNE is even more chavistified, and just a couple of months ago we were telling you not to vote because CNE would cheat again...ergo, please go vote for us on Dec. 4th."


Teodoro Petkoff, who understood the longer-term implications of claiming fraud on not-much-evidence earlier than almost anyone else, is taking a much more constructive position. No grandiloquent declarations about bolichoros at CNE, just a set of basic demands on the elections authorities scrupulously grounded in law.

    1- Quit running out the clock on inviting an EU observer mission.
    2- Open communication channels between local election boards and local opposition representatives (i.e. local boards can't continue talking only with chavistas.)
    3- Enforce the legally-established role of the military at voting centers (i.e. men with guns are there to provide security, not to run the voting center.)
    4- Apply the legal requirement that vote tallying to be open to the public (i.e. no more counting votes behind closed doors.)

This little list will hardly get oppo pulses raising, it just makes some basic demands while forthrightly accepting CNE's right to run the election.


Well yeah...and so do the oppo politicos, from the moment they decide to run candidates in the election.