The last pieces of democracy slip away in Venezuela
The elections in Venezuela were stacked.
Oh, by the way, what economic system produced this human suffering? What political system produced this all-but-in-name dictatorship?
- Hints of the fraud before the election.
- In spite of polling and expectations, a mere 5 opposition candidates won a governorship.
- Oh, the few in the opposition who won are denied their position; initial reports said that government hacks were sworn into office instead.
- Four of the five opposition governors actually sworn in.
10/15/17 – Wall Street Journal – Venezuela’s Latest Election Fraud – More details on how the election results were cooked. Reporter describes more details on manipulation.
The national electoral council is controlled by the president, thus given him power to change the process. The CNE controls the voter registry and uses electronic voting machines which are obviously not subject to recount.
This election was delayed 10 months and was only announced one month in advance. Candidates were allowed five days to register.
Opposition candidates who lost in the primary were still listed on the ballot. Government candidates were listed multiple times on different party tickets. This dilutes the opposition vote (since people may not have heard who lost the primaries) and reinforces the pro-government vote.
Number of polling stations that were moved is actually 274, with many of the moves going into dangerous areas.
10/18/17 – Wall Street Journal – Venezuela’s Opposition in Disarray After Electoral Defeat – Looks like the efforts to manipulate the election paid off quite handsomely.
Polls before the election suggested the opposition would win the election, especially if turnout was over 60%. The turnout was over that amount.
Yet 18 of 23 governorships went to pro-government candidates. The opposition won only 5 of the seats.
The results, which are terrible for what remains of democracy in the country, have rattled the opposition. The five winners don’t know if they will consent to being sworn in at the sham constituent assembly.
Two more tidbits on the manipulation. Late moves in polling locations affected 700,000 people, leaving them wondering where to vote. Scattered reports say that government thugs attacked voters and polling station workers.
10/19/17 – Wall Street Journal – Venezuela Bars Opposition Governors From Taking Office – The five people from the opposition who won a governorship refused to attend the official swearing-in.
As the last step in overriding the election, the government instead swore into those five offices people who were pro-government. In other words, the offices were taken from the five candidates who won.
In other election manipulation news, the opposition posted voting machine receipts which show that the government candidate in Bolivar state lost by 1,500 votes. In contrast to the voting machine results, the government reports the general on the pro-government slate won by 2,000 votes.
Followup: Posted this update to the story before posting the above background. Oops! Here’s the next step in the story of merely five opposition candidate wins:
10/23/17 – Wall Street Journal – In Venezuela, Opposition Governors Quietly Sworn In – I don’t get the Venezuelan political world, but then on the other hand, that is why I blog – so I can learn.
Four of the five opposition candidates who won on Sunday a week ago were sworn in during a small ceremony. For reasons I really don’t understand, that they were sworn in created more division in the opposition. Well, at least there is some small shred of opposition left in the country, marginalized though it may be.