Electoral authority asks VP Maduro to suspend his press conference
In an address to the media, Vicente Díaz, a director of the National Electoral Council (CNE), rejected the conversation Executive Vice-President Nicolás Maduro was having with state-run news media, which was then suspended
Director of the National Electoral Council (CNE) Vicente Díaz asked Executive Vice-President Nicolás Maduro to "immediately suspend" the press conference offered from the headquarters of pro-government campaign team Comando Carabobo arguing that it violated the electoral law because Maduro allegedly engaged in proselytism in favor of ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela's candidates.
According to Díaz, Maduro was "tarnishing the electoral climate without any need," as he violated election regulations. Díaz explained that Maduro made an open call to President Hugo Chávez's followers, asking them not to leave the Venezuelan president alone and support him. "It is a call for people to vote for a determined political choice, which is a violation of the election law."
Regarding abstention, Díaz said it was early to assess the turnout in Sunday election as there was time left for the closure of voting centers. Díaz suggested that perhaps voters decided to vote later.
The CNE director also reported that all the voting stations were set up successfully and were operating smoothly.
Cristian Fonseca, a businessman in La Candelaria district downtown Caracas, was doing the accounts in his small shop office on Sunday December 21, 2008. The Christmas shopping season kept him working late hours into the night. It was around 11 p.m. and his phone rang. A friend broke the bad news to him over the telephone.