CARACAS, Friday December 09, 2005 | Update
President Hugo Chávez claimed Friday that electoral
observation delegations of the Organization of American States
(OAS) and the European Union (EU) "lent themselves" to plot
against Venezuela based on their reports on the elections
for parliament last Sunday.
"They delivered reports that were surprisingly in agreement by both delegations and surprisingly similar to Washington statements almost everyday on Venezuela," Chávez said during his intervention in the Mercosur Summit to invite his colleagues in the trade block to dealt with democracy in the hemisphere.
The ruler claimed to have investigated the delegations and found that almost all of them belong to the world rightwing.
Chávez commented that the report was shameful and disappointing.
The ruler called a big lie the OAS statement, "most observed polling stations closed from 17 to 19 hours, even though in some of them there were no voters, transgressing this way the time legally stipulated." In his opinion, under special circumstances, the National Electoral Council is entitled to extend the time for voting.
"They failed to say that the electoral court is entitled to extend the time of elections. Elections are until a scheduled time, but it was raining in half the country," he argued in Montevideo.
The observation missions "are not entitled to meddle in internal affairs," the president noted in reference to the UE findings of inconsistencies and gaps in election rules and regulations.
02:57 PM. HEAVY RAINS. Venezuelan Executive Vice-President Elias Jaua reported that the government is designing plans to support farmers, cattlemen and peasants of the state of Mérida who have been hit by heavy rains that have caused crop losses.