Sunday, February 19, 2006

Per Secula Seculorum

Two fresh proposals from Chavez:

-Make of Venezuela's presidential elections scheduled for December a plebiscite, if the opposition withdraws.

-Call a referendum to allow him to run for the presidency unlimited times. "Although I am not sure I can resist forever".

I won't get into the ethics of changing the constitution to have oneself reelected. I will also avoid arguing about the convenience of an eternal presidency. I won't even say that at this rhythm Venezuela's constitution will decree presidential infallibility. I will only ask why is he already in campaign? Isn't he popular enough? Doesn't he know it is illegal to do so 12 months before the elections and to use public means for proselytism?


At 11:35 PM, Blogger Justin Delacour said...

What? By what law is it illegal for Chavez to campaign now?

At 12:24 AM, Blogger Camilo Pino said...

Ley Orgánica del Sufragio y Participación Política.

Article 196 states a 7 month period for candidates to campaign.

Article 198 states that candidates must be registered before campaigning.

Article 199 sets a limit of 4 months for TV propaganda.

Article 210 says that no government or public institution can be used to promote a candidate.

Article 215 states that no public officer can promote a campaign.

Aló Presidente was once cancelled by the CNE and the President fined for breaking these laws.

At 4:46 PM, Blogger Justin Delacour said...

Well, how exactly do you legally define when the president is campaigning and when he's not campaigning? That's pretty ambiguous.

Are you sure Aló Presidente was cancelled for a time? I thought it was the radio program "Patrullando con Chávez" that was cancelled in the period leading up to the referendum.

At 4:56 PM, Blogger Justin Delacour said...

Moreover, the CNE is looking into charges that Chavez is campaigning illegally, which throws a big wrench in the opposition's whole argument that the CNE has no independence from the executive.


At 10:40 PM, Blogger Camilo Pino said...

"Well, how exactly do you legally define when the president is campaigning and when he's not campaigning?"

This is what the law says:

"Toda actividad pública que tenga por finalidad estimular al electorado para que sufrague por determinados candidatos de organizaciones políticas o grupos de electores."

This is what Chavez said:

"Are you sure Aló Presidente was cancelled for a time?"
It was, in 1999. This clip documents it:

Forgot they had also cancelled Patrullando con Chavez. That is a second formal precedent of Presidential abuse of public means and illegal campaigning.

"See: http:..."
Broken link. Please send it again.


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