National Electoral Council of Venezuela
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The National Electoral Council (Spanish: Consejo Nacional Electoral) (CNE) is one of the five independent branches of government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. It is the institution that oversees and guarantees the transparency of all elections and referendums in Venezuela at the local, regional, and national levels. The creation of the CNE was ratified by citizens in Venezuela's 1999 constitutional referendum.
The CNE is composed mainly of five officials. They are nominated by the President and elected by a majority vote of the unicameral National Assembly. CNE rulings are made by a majority decision (three out of five) of the five officials. Three out of the five officials are members of the ruling PSUV party.
At present, the CNE officials are: Tibisay Lucena (CNE President, President of the National Electoral Commission), Sandra Oblitas Ruzza (Vice President, President of the Civil and Electoral Registry Commission), Vicente José Gregorio Díaz Silva (President of the Political Participation and Finance Commission), Socorro Elizabeth Hernández Hernández (Member of the National Electoral Commission) and Tania D' Amelio Cardiet (Member of the Civil and Electoral Registry Commission). The CNE also has a general secretary, Xavier Antonio Moreno Reyes, and a juridical consultant, Roberto Ignacio Mirabal Acosta.
International electoral observers and analysts have praised the CNE for its efficiency and transparency. It has updated and modernized the voter registry and voting infrastructure, and increased participation by establishing additional voting centers in underserved areas.
The CNE, established by Hugo Chavez was preceded by the Supreme Electoral Council, which was established under an electoral law on September 11, 1936. This entity was replaced by the CNE in 1997 with the passage of a new Organic Law of Suffrage and Participation.
A 2011 report by the Foundation for Democratic Advancement states, in its executive summary: "Venezuela's constitutional and legislative basis for democracy is exceptional, innovative, and progressive. [The constitution] puts significant emphasis on individual rights and societal plurality, cooperation, and respect. These core values extend consistently through Venezuela's electoral laws. Further, as a source of innovation and fairness, the Venezuelan National Electoral Council has the power legally and financially to ensure a fair diffusion of electoral propaganda, and thereby prevent wealthy citizens, legal entities, candidates, and parties from dominating electoral discourse." The organization has repeatedly failed in curtailing government abuse of deadlines and the illegal use of Government funds to finance the ruling party's campaigns.
- Venezuelan recall referendum of 2004
- Venezuelan parliamentary election, 2005
- Venezuelan presidential election, 2006
- Venezuelan constitutional referendum, 2007
- "Ley de censo electoral y de elecciones, de 11 de septiembre de 1936". 1936. Retrieved September 22, 2011.
- "Ley Orgánica del Sufragio y Participación Política". Retrieved September 22, 2011.
- Foundation for Democratic Advancement (2011). "2011 FDA Electoral Fairness Audit of Venezuela's Federal Electoral System". Retrieved September 22, 2011.
- Official website (Spanish)