Venezuelan residents abroad to vote in more than 31 countries on Sunday
Ramón José Medina, the coordinator of International Affairs of opposition umbrella group Unified Democratic Panel (MUD), said that the only difference between the election process in Venezuela and in foreign countries is that abroad there will only be manual voting stations
Ramón José Medina, the coordinator of International Affairs of opposition umbrella group Unified Democratic Panel (MUD), said Wednesday that Venezuelans living in more than 80 cities in 31 countries around the world have guarantees to participate in the opposition primaries. "For the first time, Venezuelans living abroad in places as far away as Japan, Australia, Europe, and the United States will be able to participate in this kind of elections," Medina added.
The opposition leader said that despite the fact that the period for register of voters was short and that Venezuelan consulates hindered the registration process in appropriate conditions, "the voters' lists were broken down, that is, the polling stations are now closer to voters."
Medina said that the only difference between the election process in Venezuela and in foreign countries is that abroad there will only be manual voting stations. "There are no electronic voting machines to transmit data. Therefore, we can not know for sure when the information about total votes is going to arrive, especially because the cities have different time zones."
The ballot count method will be: First of all, to review and count ballots at polling stations; fill out tally sheets and register total votes at the Technical Committee of the National Electoral Council (CNE). Medina said that opposition delegates will be present throughout the process to guarantee the accuracy of results. The coordinator of International Affairs was interviewed by private TV news network Globovisión.
Medina was asked about the participation of international observers in the opposition primaries. He said that some organizations expressed their willingness to participate, but it was "impossible" to accept their offer in the terms established by the United Nations, the Organization of American States, and the European Union.
"We are interested in promoting their participation. We want them to participate. There were no foreign observation teams in the elections held in Venezuela in 2006 and that is essential in any democratic election. There were election observers in Nicaragua and Egypt. That is positive for the process," he said.
Translated by Gerardo Cárdenas
José Vicente Rangel clearly said: "We are not conducting negotiations threatened with a gun in the head." He warned behind closed doors in the midst of the social upheaval occurred during the oil strike in 2002 and 2003. Dissenting Timoteo Zambrano answered back that no other option was available: "The thing is that otherwise, you do not negotiate."