The electoral council of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) will release today its criteria for electoral accompaniment and observation missions that are adapted to the requirements of each country.
For the presidential elections in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on October 7, the organization has decided to act as an accompanier in accordance with the model used by Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE).
Since 2006, the CNE has used electoral accompaniment as opposed to observation, the latter being more common in countries experiencing conflicts or with questionable electoral systems. Venezuela’s own system is fully audited.
The UNASUR mission will release its statutes and criteria when Peruvian Foreign Minister Rafael Roncagliolo, the current president of the South American group, signs an accompaniment agreement with CNE President Tibisay Lucena.
The Venezuelan electoral authority is finalizing the details of the agreement, which should state the number of representatives from each country that will come to Venezuela during the voting and their roles, as well as Venezuela’s obligations.
One of the items indicates that UNASUR’s electoral council will be comprised of four persons from each member country. Each country may choose its representatives from among its own electoral experts. Delegates will also come from the electoral institutions of each country.
Venezuela’s electoral law states in article 484 that international accompaniers may not issue opinions on internal affairs, release partial electoral results, or attempt to sway voters through public pronouncements.
After being accredited by the CNE, accompaniers may move freely throughout the country, communicate with candidates, political parties or other types of organizations and witness the technical aspects of the electoral process.
According to the CNE’s timetable for the October 7 elections, accompaniers will be received from August 23 to September 4 and accredited from October 1 to 4.
AVN/ Press Office- Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S./ August 22, 2012