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He obtained 5,800,629 ballots in August 15 recall referendum

President Hugo Chávez officially ratified in office

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez Friday lashed out at the Secretary-General of the Organization of American States, César Gaviria, calling him "a liar," referring to Gaviria's declarations in Washington that the CNE "ended up making partisan decisions all the time"

The head of the National Electoral Council (CNE), Francisco Carrasquero, delivered Chávez a certificate of his electoral triumph (Photo: Courtesy of VTV)

EL UNIVERSAL
 
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez Friday received from the head of the National Electoral Council (CNE), Francisco Carrasquero, a document certifying his triumph in the August 15 recall referendum, where he obtained 5,800,629 ballots.
 
Chávez seized the opportunity to reject the declarations of the Secretary-General of the Organization of American States, César Gaviria, who said in Washington that the CNE "ended up making partisan decisions all the time."
 
Chávez called Gaviria "a liar." According to Chávez, if the CNE had made partisan decisions, the August 15 referendum would not have taken place.
 
After receiving the certificate of his ratification in office, Chávez thanked the three directors of the CNE who attended the event for their significant efforts for the participative, real, and Bolivarian democracy.
 
He reiterated that if he had been defeated in the election, he would have admitted the results.

"If my mandate had been terminated, I swear I would have no problem in giving the presidential sash to the Vice President (José Vicente Rangel), and leave" he stressed.
 
Carrasquero stated that the Venezuelan people participated massively in the election "in order to express their will freely, and cast their ballots in a unique and novel presidential -now ratifying- referendum, as set forth in the law."
 
"The sovereign will of the Venezuelan people -who have magnified their real democratic vocation- should lead to the unity of all Venezuelans and to a political dialogue between the political players involved, having in mind that sovereignty lies with the people and that political leaders have an obligation to defend the people's constitutional and legal rights under the aegis of ethics," Carrasquero added.
 
He indicated that this is a time for "reflection rather than regrets." "It is very hard to see and admit our own errors (...), but we have to, if we want Venezuelans to enjoy peace for good."
 
Carrasquero ensured that the Electoral Power is to continue to work for the rights of the citizens. He described as "successful" the job the CNE did to celebrate the presidential referendum in accordance with the Constitution. According to Carrasquero, the CNE has 64 percent credibility.
 
The event -at the headquarters of the CNE- was also attended by the representatives of the Moral Power (the Attorney-General, Isaías Rodríguez; the General Comptroller, Clodosvaldo Russian; and the Ombudsman, Germán Mundaraín), the Judiciary Power, and the Legislative Power. The parents of President Chávez, Hugo de los Reyes Chávez, the governor of Barinas State, and Elena Frías de Chávez were also present.
 
Chávez' followers rallied outside the headquarters of the CNE to celebrate the victory of the Venezuelan President in the election.
 
Translated by Maryflor Suárez



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