Elections in Venezuela are among the worst rated in the region

According to a study of the Electoral Integrity project, in the South American country, international treaties and agreements are violated, which is aggravated by the denunciation of the Smartmatic company, which states that it can not guarantee the integrity of the systemThe quality of elections in Venezuela continues to deteriorate. According to the latest report of the Electoral Integrity project, the electoral processes in the region that meet the “international standards and global norms that guarantee the proper conduct of elections” are found in Haiti, Nicaragua, Honduras, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela.

The Election Integrity Project (EIP) is an academic initiative of the Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University and the Department of Government and International Relations of the University of Sydney, which aims to assess the quality of global elections.

To carry out this assessment, compliance with standards is analyzed “based on good practices that have been established in different conventions and treaties approved by international and regional organizations such as the United Nations, the Organization of American States, the African Union or the Organization for Security. and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) “.

To carry out the global classification, the EIP leaders carry out surveys of experts in those countries where elections have been held between July 1, 2012 and December 31, 2017, for a sample of 3,235 experts who evaluated 285 parliamentary and presidential elections. nationals in 164 countries. The latest version of the study includes 44 electoral evaluations of the elections held during 2017.

The study evaluates performance in 11 different dimensions: Electoral Law, Electoral Procedures, Electoral Districts (circumscriptions), Voter Registration, Registration of Parties and Candidates, Media Coverage, Campaign Financing, Voting Processes, Voting Counting, Results and Electoral Authorities. Each of these dimensions was measured on a standardized 100-point scale; which has been subdivided into three groups: Low, Moderate and High.

In the case of Venezuela, the electoral processes only reach 45 points of the 100 possible, which places the country next to Haiti (31 points), Nicaragua (36), Honduras (37), and Dominican Republic (44) among the group of States with the worst Electoral Integrity Index in the region.

In the specific case of Venezuela, there is a systematic deterioration in the 11 indicators that make up the study since the presidential elections of 2012. According to the analysis made by the researchers of this project in the presidential elections of 2012, the global rating of Integrity Electoral process was located at 54 points. Six years later the classification decreased to 44 points.

According to the authors of the study “democracy requires that many institutions work effectively: we need competitive political parties, an independent judiciary, a free and vigilant press, the supervision of parliamentary bodies and the constitutional checks and balances that prevent the abuse of power by the executive (…) Elections with integrity are the central base that binds citizens to the State, which underpins the responsibility of the holders of positions before the voters. The PEI index is correlated with the quality of democracy. “

The Electoral Integrity report indicates that the countries with the most respectful elections to the international standards in the region (in descending order) are: Costa Rica (81 points out of 100 possible), Uruguay (75) and Canada (75). In the case of the United States, the Electoral Integrity Index was 61 points after the presidential elections of 2016, which implies a decrease of up to 8 points in the ranking compared to the presidential elections of 2012.

In the global arena, the electoral processes where international standards are most respected are: Denmark (81 points out of 100 possible), Finland (86 points), Norway (83), Iceland (82) and Germany (81).

The results can not be certified

In the case of Venezuela, the results of the Electoral Integrity report become even more serious and eloquent after the Smartmatic company announced the definitive cessation of its operations in Venezuela.

Through a press release the company explained that the reasons for the closure “are widely known. In August 2017, after the elections to the National Assembly of Constituents, Smartmatic declared publicly that the National Electoral Council had announced results different from those reflected in the voting system. This episode leads to an immediate breakdown of the client-supplier relationship. “

In its communique the company ratifies that it did not participate in the last two elections (regional elections of October 15, 2017 and municipal elections of December 10, 2017) and consequently “how the company did not participate in these processes, and given that the The company’s products are not covered by the guarantee and were not certified for those elections, Smartmatic can not guarantee the integrity of the system, nor can it certify the accuracy of the results. “

After 15 years of service and 14 assisted elections Smartmatic will no longer be the guarantor of the electoral results in the country. As announced by the CNE, the subsidiary in Venezuela of the Argentine company ExCle will be in charge of providing technical assistance to the electoral processes in the country.

The announcement of Smartmatic joins the statements of Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, who indicated during the presentation of his annual report on the situation of Human Rights in the world that the political situation and social in Venezuela does not meet “the minimum conditions to hold presidential elections (…) I am seriously concerned because in this context the minimum conditions for free and credible elections are not met in any way.”

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