In a deeply worrying Tweetstorm last night, Luis Emilio Rondón explained that CNE’s just-revealed rules for renewing Official Party Status are even worse than we’d feared. Rondón, the sole opposition-friendly member of the National Electoral Council’s five-member board, didn’t mince his words:

As has become usual, CNE is going all out to create bizarre obstacles to people’s political participation: obstacles that aren’t in the constitution, aren’t in the law, and aren’t even in the malicious, forced interpretations of the law in recent Supreme Tribunal decisions.

Each party will have a single weekend — 14 hours total — to mobilize 0.5% of the electoral rolls in at least 12 states to retain official party status. There aren’t anywhere near enough voting centers open to make this practicable — just 390 fingerprint scanners nationwide will be enabled. CNE is engineering a mass shakeout of the smaller parties, but that much has been clear all along.

The rule that really jumps out at me is this stuff about how voters aren’t allowed to sign on behalf of more than one party.

This smells like a trap.

As we speak, MUD is on the verge of being declared illegal for “irregularities” that are entirely CNE’s fault.

Because inevitably in a process like this, some people get confused, some people don’t learn all the rules, and some people will sign on behalf of multiple parties. That’s virtually inevitable.

Now, if we didn’t have any experience with this sort of thing, we might not worry about it. But we’ve been around the block a few times. We remember last year’s Recall Rigamarole. We’ve seen this CNE set absurd conditions for voter participation processes before, conditions that seemed designed to cause confusion and multiply mistakes.

And we’ve seen that when those mistakes, inevitably, are made, the government isn’t the least bit shy about leveraging them to push for heavy-handed punitive action to close political spaces for the opposition.

As we speak, MUD is on the verge of being declared illegal for “irregularities” that are entirely CNE’s fault, “irregularities” that stem directly from CNE’s bizarre Vogon bureaucracy.

And this is plainly the plan here as well: decree people can only sign in support of one party, wait for a few dozen people to screw up, sign more than once, and leverage that into an overwrought declaration that the whole damn thing is rigged and none of it counts.

It’s straightforward, really: it’s a trap.

16 COMMENTS

  1. And why would it be necessary to not allow anybody to sign for more than 1 party… apart from the obvious fact that then you cant have somebody lucky enough to have access to the voting booth do a service for democracy and support ALL parties right to participate…

    • Because the plan is to achieve elections like they do in Cuba and Nicaragua: With just one party, or with the regime’s party and a sellout party that also supports the regime.

  2. I would have thought it was now obvious to anyone that Chavismo will never again subject themselves to free and fair elections. The last time they did that in the assembly elections, they got profoundly beaten. Therefore, they will limit participation and still claim that Venezuela is a democracy. The challenge for the Opposition (Resistance) is to participate where they can, but without giving the regime the legitimacy that it craves. It may be that this is the right time to abstain from participating and refuse to be a party to a farce.

    • It worked for the sandinists since the time of Violeta Chamorro:

      The sandinists kept control of ALL the government, leaving the presidency as a chinese vase, EXACTLY what chavismo has done with ALL the electionable posts they’ve lost so far.

      • Not really, no. The Sandinistas gradually regained control of all branches, through bargaining and threats from 1991 until 2006. Basically, they used the IMF stabilization packages twice: first as something to rally against and regroup after Ortega’s 1990 electoral defeat, and then used it to keep macro stability and private sector incentives in place after 2007.

    • Damn straight. That dialogue and de-mobilization were the last nail in the coffin for what little ray of hope there was… I can’t believe people still, to this day, don’t realize it.

  3. Cualquier análisis que no vea la necesidad de destruir a la MUD (y a los corruptos que la dominan) para poder hacerle frente a la dictadura, aunque sea desde la clandestinidad,no es un análisis, es un pseudoanálisis.
    Entiendo que es difícil despertar, pero si no somos capaces de aceptar a estas alturas que hombres como Borges, Caldera, Falcón, Rosales, y todos los influenciadores que los defienden, son parte activa del sistema que nos está matando, y por eso, nuestros enemigos, no hay nada que hacer, no hay ninguna esperanza. No hay acuerdo posible con esta dictadura. Todos los acuerdos posibles implican la ruina del país a corto,mediano y largo plazo. Las personas que han intentado acercarse, han terminado vendiendo su alma (como Capriles, como Ocariz)y no tienen nada que mostrar a cambio de eso. Nada.No hay nada que ganar por vender tu alma a estos tipos, y eso fue lo que hizo un sector de la oposición (sin cuyos recursos lamentablemente no se puede empezar una rebelión) hace tiempo. Hace tiempo el mundo reconoció que estamos en dictadura, y sin embargo nosotros seguimos hablando de las elecciones regionales comos unos idiotas. Al principio yo estaba seguro de que no las iban a permitir hasta que no compraran a todo el mundo que tenían que comprar; más bien me daba esperanza que no las anunciaran.Ahora entiendo que para el gobierno no es necesario ni siquiera hacerlas y que ya compraron a todo el mundo. Hay dictaduras que reprimen a sus enemigos pero mantienen el país a flote de alguna manera, y luego hay dictaduras que destruyen todo a su alrededor, aliados o enemigos, sin contemplaciones. Yo estoy en contra de los dos tipos por igual. Sin embargo, entiendo que con el primero,por muy miserable que sea, quizás uno podría sentarse y llegar a un acuerdo de transición eventualmente (que es lo que pasa en esos casos, aunque sólo al cabo de muchos años), pero no con el segundo. El segundo tipo simplemente es destructivo, psicopático, acaba con todo a su paso de manera irracional y sin escrúpulos y como su propósito es la muerte y la esclavitud, no se acaba nunca, puede durar décadas y me atrevo a decir que siglos, si no se le detiene de golpe (que es lo que suele pasar). No es un asunto ideológico, es un asunto patológico. Pensar que puedes pactar con un psicópata no tiene sentido. Sea Hitler, sea otro. Cuando una sociedad cae bajo las garras de un psicópata, lamentablemente, sólo puede liberarse por la fuerza, o le toca confiar supersticiosamente en que esa monstruosidad devoradora algún día incierto muera por indigestión o por la mano providencial de terceros. Para mí el chavismo es del segundo tipo. Si se le deja hacer puede durar décadas, décadas no sólo de atraso y de pobreza, sino sanguinarias, a un nivel que ni siquiera se puede comparar con Cuba. Pensar que Maduro es alguien con quien se puede dialogar es un suicidio.

  4. It aint a trap when you can see it clearly.

    This is more like an in your face shut the fuck up and eat the shit that I am barrel feeding you.

  5. I don’t see how turning Venezuela into a de facto one-party state will not be the straw that break the camel’s back for those still hoping for a peaceful solution.

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