The Not-Quite-Impossible Dream: A Decent CNE

There’s an interesting story in El Universal today about the internal wranglings in the National Assembly over what to do with CNE. Though Chavez will undoubtedly have the last word, chavistas in the Assembly are split, partucularly on whether to leave Jorge Rodriguez in overall charge of the council. As it stands, it appears that PPT, the Communist Party, Podemos, and Francisco Ameliach’s MVR faction want to see a new CNE chairman, while Nicolas Maduro, Iris Varela, and Willian Lara would like to see Rodriguez (and, potentially, all his colleagues) stay.

Three things to note:

  • Maduro et. al. would appear to be Chavez’s preferred bunch in the Assembly, so the smart money has to be on Rodriguez staying (ugh!)
  • The prospect – discounted as pure fantasy by so many in the opposition – of a decent(er) CNE is not quite out of the question yet – chunks of the Assembly are lobbying actively for it.
  • The debate itself proves the old political science adage that if you take a group of people who agree on everything, lock them in a room together and come back in a few months, you’ll find parties and factions emerging. This is not to say that we have a genuinely parliamentary process in Venezuela – since everyone agrees that Chavez will make the ultimate decision – but is nevertheless interesting.