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Caracas, Thursday October 27 , 2005  
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Constitutional Court clears up questions about lawfulness of the mechanism
Constitutional court dismisses action against twin ballots
Military troops guard the headquarters of the Venezuelan top court (Photo: Archive)
An oral public hearing took place at the main auditorium of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ) where the Constitutional Court met to define whether twin ballots were in accordance with the constitution

The Constitutional Court, Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ) overruled an action filed by opposition Acción Democrática (AD) party against implementation of twin ballots.

After a hearing Thursday where each party concerned pleaded in favor and against legitimacy of the voting formula, the justices of the constitutional court found no evidence of contradiction between the nomination procedure known as twin ballots. "Neither the constitution nor the laws prohibit it."

At the TSJ major hearing room were National Electoral Council (CNE) Jorge Rodríguez, Attorney General Isaías Rodríguez, and Ombudsman Germán Mundaraín. Pro-government parliamentarian William Lara was to present allegations favoring the use of twin ballots.

Some people thought that the Attorney General's Office could shore up opposition AD party's pleadings, as Attorney General Isaías Rodríguez recently asserted: "I do not understand twin ballots the way (opposition Convergencia party leaders) Juan José Caldera and Eduardo Lapi understood them." Rodríguez was making reference to the first political players who used this controversial electoral mechanism.

On his part, Venezuelan Ombudsman Germán Mundaraín had said that the Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ) should dismiss an action filed by opposition Acción Democrática (AD) party, seeking annulment of an electoral formula known as twin ballots, as the alleged violation of a constitutional right under this mechanism has already been "consented" by plaintiffs.

Under "twin ballots" political parties can present nominal candidates and lists of candidates separately, thus allowing the majority party to obtain twice as many positions than positions actually gotten in the election.




 
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