Saturday, April 01, 2006

BBC NEWS | Venezuela election boycott widens

BBC NEWS | Americas | Venezuela election boycott widens:

"A fourth Venezuelan opposition party has withdrawn from this Sunday's congressional election amid a dispute over electronic voting machines.

Primero Justicia's decision means more than half the opposition groupings have now pulled out.

Opposition parties are worried the election board could rig the vote.

Electoral officials deny such accusations and say voting for the expanded 167-seat Congress will go ahead as planned.

The government of President Hugo Chavez has vowed to increase its majority to two-thirds, which would allow it to pass constitutional reforms that opposition leaders strongly oppose.

Three other opposition parties pulled out of the poll earlier this week, accusing the electoral body of favouring pro-government candidates.

[...]

President Chavez hit back, claiming the opposition was trying to derail the election and accusing them of plotting with the US to destabilise the country.

[...]

Democratic Action leader Henry Ramos has called for a suspension of the election until equal conditions existed for parties.

He told reporters earlier this week that there were software "irregularities" in the electronic voting machines.

Mr Ramos also cited lack of access to official voting lists and "deep" mistrust of the National Election Council (CNE), most of whose members are in the ruling party.

Representatives of the electoral council have repeatedly denied accusations of a pro-government bias.

The authorities had removed fingerprint machines at polling stations after opposition leaders said the identification system threatened voter confidentiality."

This is why we can't allow Venezuela to run our elections for us, and actually, why we CANNOT EVER use electronic voting. We used paper ballots for so long with no problems. It wasn't until the 2000 elections that DEMOCRATS called for electronic voting. Now Democrats complain that Diebold is using electronic voting to swing elections towards the Republicans. Then why did the stupid Democrats want the electronic voting in the first place? If I were a conspiracy theorist, which I'm not, I could claim that the Rep's and Dem's are collobarating to make elections machine run, so they will never have any competition. But actually, they've rigged the deck so hard against 3rd parties that a third party will never have a chance. Unless it has a rich backer like Perot, but Congress has been busy with "election reform" which will make this impossible. No one will ever be able to challenge the two party system. And everyone claps, and says that now this "election reform", rather than stifling free speech, has stopped corruption. I find this a little hard to believe. We're fucked.

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