National Electoral Council (Venezuela)
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The National Electoral Council (Spanish: Consejo Nacional Electoral) (CNE) is one of the five branches of government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela that is designed to be independent. It is the institution that has the responsibility of overseeing and guaranteeing 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 are to be 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.
The CNE, established by Hugo Chávez 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.
The electoral system of Venezuela is a controversial. It has been alleged that the Supreme Tribunal of Justice, with the majority supporting Chávez, elected officials to the supposedly non-partisan National Electoral Council of Venezuela (CNE) despite the 1999 Constitution stating that the National Assembly of Venezuela were to perform the action. This resulted with the CNE board having a majority consisting of Chavistas, or those that supported Hugo Chávez. Since then, the Venezuelan government controlled by the PSUV ruling party has manipulated elections, holding control of the CNE, the media and through government spending. Meanwhile, according to the United States Department of State, there is "widespread pre- and post-election fraud, including electoral irregularities, government interference, and manipulation of voters" and "opposition political parties [have] operated in a restrictive atmosphere characterized by intimidation, the threat of prosecution or administrative sanction on questionable charges, and restricted media access". International observers have had difficulties monitoring the elections, though the Bolivarian government accepts the praise of their elections from UNASUR allies.
Others have applauded Venezuela's electoral system. A 2011 report by the Foundation for Democratic Advancement stated that the electoral process is "exceptional", "innovative" and "fair", though their report was criticized for a lack of professionalism, such as not noting various factors in Venezuelan politics as well as using poor copy and paste translations.
- 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" (PDF). 1936. Retrieved September 22, 2011.
- "Ley Orgánica del Sufragio y Participación Política" (PDF). Retrieved September 22, 2011.
- Hawkins, Kirk A. (2010). Venezuela's Chavismo and populism in comparative perspective (1. publ. ed.). New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521765039.
- Cárdenas, José (4 August 2015). "Now Is the Time to Save Venezuela’s Elections". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
- Foundation for Democratic Advancement (2011). "2011 FDA Electoral Fairness Audit of Venezuela's Federal Electoral System". Retrieved September 22, 2011.
- Toro, Francisco. "Sly Dadaist Satire? Mind-Spinningly Hapless Propaganda? Sometimes, you can’t actually tell.". Caracas Chronicles. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
- Official website (Spanish)