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EU Sends Election Observation Mission to Venezuela

European Union deploys Election Observation Mission to Venezuela for legislative election

The European Commission has deployed an EU Election Observation Mission (EOM) to the parliamentary elections in Venezuela, scheduled to take place on 4 December. The EU EOM will be led by Mr. José Albino Silva Peneda, Member of the European Parliament. The decision to deploy an EU EOM follows an invitation last June ion from the National Electoral Council (Consejo Nacional Electoral) of the Republica Bolivivariana de Venezuela to observe the campaign. These elections represent an important moment for Venezuela, especially in view of next year’s presidential polls.

Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, said: “The European Commission continues to follow the situation in Venezuela with great interest, in particular efforts to promote national reconciliation and respect for democratic principles, tolerance and dialogue. The forthcoming elections will provide an especially important opportunity in this regard and we hope that the presence of an EOM will mark a positive contribution to the Venezuelan electoral process”.

The EOM Core Team consists of the Chief Observer and ten election experts, including electronic voting experts. The team has already arrived in Caracas and is in contact with the country’s national electoral authority (the Consejo Nacional Electoral). 40 long-term observers (LTOs) have also arrived and will be deployed throughout the country to follow the campaign period and pre-election preparations. A total of 100 short-term observers (STOs) as accompanied by a delegation of Members of the European Parliament, and complemented by approximately 10 diplomats from EU Member State embassies in Caracas, will begin work just before election day to observe voting, counting and the tabulation of results.

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Election Observation Missions are an important instrument for building confidence in the democratic processes of a country and are deployed in line with the EU’s commitment to promote democracy, human rights and the respect for the rule of law. The EU will therefore make available €2,791,272, from the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), for deploying this EU EOM in December 2005.

For additional information, see also:
EU Election Assistance & Observation:
http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/human_rights/eu_election_ass_observ/index.htm

European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights:

http://europa.eu.int/comm/europeaid/projects/eidhr/index_en.htm

The EU's relations with Venezuela:
http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/venezuela/intro/index.htm

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