On Tuesday April 16th, representatives of the organizations which are members of the Citizen Election Network delivered to the National Electoral Commission (NEC) a document highlighting the most significant reports they had received through the reporting mechanisms set up for the presidential elections held on April 14th.
The document prepared by Transparencia Venezuela, Espacio Público (Public Space), Voto Joven (Youth Vote), Venezuela Inteligente, Vision Democrática and the Instituto Prensa y Sociedad (Press and Society Institute – Ipys) requests the NEC to initiate an investigation of these reports, in order to establish their veracity and to determine any civil, penal or administrative consequences which may arise due to violations of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the Organic Law of Electoral Processes, the Law Against Corruption and the Penal Code.
These civil society organizations also asked the President of the Electoral Commission, Tibisay Lucena, for a meeting in order to deliver the information in detail, which includes witness testimonies, graphic and audiovisual material.
Among the 1029 reports received, the 52 cases of unjustified voting assistance stand out, in particular in the municipality of Mara in Zulia state. At this location, citizens observed that numerous voters were forcibly accompanied during the act of voting, without having requested this assistance.
The document also notes that there were 184 reports of intimidation or threats, highlighting the presence of so-called “Red Spots” (Puntos Rojos) around which individuals identifying with one of the presidential candidates would gather while displaying intimidating behaviour towards voters at nearby voting centres.
The Citizen Election Network also received 63 reports of physical violence. This category includes the presence of individuals riding motor vehicles in the surroundings of the voting centres and attacking voters.
One of the most widely reported type of incidents was regarding the abuse of power and the use of public resources, with a total of 288 reports. The case of the Mayor of Maturin, Jose Vicente Maicavares, stands out in this category, as he allegedly drove through the town in vehicles belonging to the municipality calling on citizens to vote for one of the candidates.
Finally, the Network also received reports on lack of compliance with electoral regulations, which are gathered under the category “Irresponsibility of the National Electoral Commission”, with a total of 393 reports including the closing of voting centres before the official closing time while voters were still queuing, delays in opening voting centres and the existence of non-official voting centres.
The civil society organizations continue their work in gathering reports through the twitter accounts @eleccion @votojoven @espaciopublico and @nomasguiso, the websites www.eleccionciudadana.com, www.votojoven.com, www.transparencia.org.ve and the telephone numbers 0212-5812913, 0212-5808126, 0414-3122629, and 0416-3122629.
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