Thursday, May 02, 2013

The Maduro "election" is officially challenged (impugnada), and so is the electoral system

As promised we just read that the Henrique Capriles has officially challenged/impugnado the election of April 14. he did that by sending the Comando Simon Bolivar, his electoral organization, to the high court of Venezuela, TSJ, electoral hall, with a 180 pages document. The evidence will be introduced later, as the High court proceeds with the hearings.

But that is not all. The challenge is not only on the mere result: the opposition has challenged ALL the electoral process, from weeks before the election to the following days. what is on trial is not only the result of April 14, it is all the Venezuelan Electoral system. At long last.

What can we expect?
Little.  After all the high court is packed 100% with pro Chavez people, that have even felt secure enough to brag about their support of the bolibanana revolution, and that separation of powers was passé. Still, something will have to happen with the court that must rule on that sooner or later, as it has a constitutional deadline (which certainly can be pushed back as the TSJ has long done what it wishes to do without regard for the laws or constitutions  as we saw recently on January 9, 2913, which is when the whole current crisis officially started).

Hypothesis 1: the TSJ is divided within its chavista mind frame and the non maduristas may be tempted to repeat the election. I see it as a weak option although the sabotage of Cabello at the National Assembly cannot make us rule it out.

Hypothesis 2: the TSJ says that the election was fine, thank you.  The problem here for them is that they will need to explain why the arguments advanced by the opposition are non receivable. And  the opposition ipso facto will go to international court where the regime loses 99% of its arguments. See, the regime lawyers write with the regime interests in mind and not with the purposes of the laws in mind. Thus all the regime arguments in real courts of laws flounder because there each side is weighed against the standards of laws and human rights, and not the interests of whomever occupies Miraflores Palace. That is why the regime has been busy trying to withdraw from any international organization because it knows perfectly well that it cannot win any trial there.  And of course no internal peace whatsoever is achieved through such a blatant abuse.

Hypothesis 3: as a face saving ploy, to try to give Maduro more time to sort out his own problems inside chavismo, the TSJ may well annul a few voting places and call for partial repeat of elections in, say, 6 months. That way the opposition goes quiet for a while and Maduro is at least recognized as "interim" president.

At any rate, tonight Capriles will talk and if possible I will give you a live tweet at @danielduquenal with more details.

PS: as a side note, ESDATA says that Capriles won by 4 points. In English here.


  1. Island Canuck4:49 PM

    Daniel I have to think that Hypothesis 1 is a no go.
    With current polls showing Maduro losing support every day & no other leader in the PSUV that could turn it around they will NEVER agree to a new election. Also we will need to demand International observers in the thousands to oversee the process - another no go.

  2. Michel Garcia7:23 PM

    Island, Daniel, there's something to remember. If the TSJ allows for a "re-vote" on a number of centers that added-up make as much votes as the difference published by the CNE, a new nation-wide vote has to be held. This is precisely because the number of votes affected are going to make, in reality, a new election, so, a new election would have to be called. This means that Hypothesis 1 actually leads to Hypothesis 3.

    1. Michel Garcia7:27 PM

      Sorry, the other way around, Hypothesis 3 leads to Hypothesis 1. The effect is the same, though. And it does not favor Maduro, because, in 3 months, or 6 months, or whatever, the situation would be worse than it is right now, on all fronts (economy, production, emplyment, insecurity, scarcity, etc.).

  3. Anonymous7:54 PM

    Final analysis hypothesis - Even if the TSJ hands the election to Capriles does anyone believe the National bus drivers union is going to give up power? If I drew a flow chart that showed the opposition getting back in power the last box would say "Opposition leader gets sworn in"; anyone care to fill in the blank as to what the box immediately preceding this one says...

  4. What we saw in the AN could happen in the TSJ if any of them rule with the opposition petition. Now, some in the AN can't read or write (its not a requirement) but, in the TSJ, all should be a Doctora de La Ley regardless if they have tits or not! It would be hard to ignore assault by any of them due to ignorance of the Ley! Si?
    My view is that at some point the issue will spill out of Venezuela and into Mercorsur that like it or not the government bonded its self to democratic principles in that treaty. In simple terms, Venezuela can be Brazil's bitch or Cuba's bitch!

  5. It's obvious what is gonna happen. Fatso Escarra had already spoken: “No hay pruebas para declarar nulidad de elecciones” (

    The TSJ will take its time (3-6 months?) before ruling against Capriles. If we go to the CIDH, it might last another 6 months. And after that, the TSJ will just tell the CIDH to fuck off, just like they did before with Judge Apitz (

    So, what's next? What can we do? There's no way out of it... :-/

    1. Irrelevant. We still have to do it.

    2. And I agree with you. We have to play by the rules. But the question still remains: Next year, when the government ignores the CIDH ruling, what are we going to do? The case of Judge Apitz and the withdrawal from the CIDH laste year are telling.

    3. Michel Garcia1:27 PM

      Escarrá is a constitutionalist lawyer, this is an electoral matter that doesn't appear on the Constitution, his inputs on this matter are null.

  6. Assuming the TSJ will stall for time and economic conditions will worsen, the Opposition (or the Solution as Capriles has started to call his movement) has to remain proactive because scapegoating is the govt's favorite strategy and it is going to rain false accusations for the foreseeable future. There are some tangible victories that the Opposition should still fight for in the meantime:
    1) Amnesty for all political prisoners and venezuelans in exile. This should be a no brainer for Maduro given his rapidly declining international image.
    2) Equal representation on National Electoral Board. These appointments require a super majority in the Assembly so I believe the MUD has some leverage here. This is such a reasonable request to make that any one opposed to it will look foolish.
    3) I've always liked the idea of a "shadow govt." which although it is typical of parliamentary systems could still create a visible structure for decision making. It would really piss off the regime which would see it as a coup but it would create a nice contrast to the improvised hysteria that is the current reality.


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