(Caracas, Toronto) Electoral observers from Canada will be in Venezuela from May 17th to 22nd, 2018, to asses the electoral environment and accompany the Presidential elections on May 20th.
The delegation includes members of Unifor, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, The United Church of Canada, Common Frontiers, and Rabble.ca. Their collective experience with election observation expands six countries around the world, including: Haiti (1990), South Africa (1994), Bolivia (2009), Honduras (2013), and Venezuela (2004 and 2010).
“This election is different,” said the United Church’s Jim Hodgson, “because it is going forward against opposition from the United States and its allies in the region. But each country has the right to choose its leaders, free from foreign interference. Having observers present opens space for the reality on the ground to be heard.”
In addition to the delegation, there will be over 250 international observers from 60 countries around the world who will descend on the country to accompany the elections. The upcoming presidential and state legislative and municipal council’s elections will be the 24th time Venezuelans head to the polls in 19 years.
Earlier this year the Venezuelan government and the opposition signed an agreement on electoral guarantees to strengthen, electoral participation and, transparency. This was a pivotal moment and safeguards an already internationally recognized electoral process as one of the best in the world, according to the Carter Center.
Raul Burbano, of Common Frontiers and the organizer of the delegation said, “The electoral system in Venezuela has a history of being fair, transparent and democratic. It is the only system in the word that has a transparent citizen audit the day of elections, which allows for community partipcation”.
These presidential elections are critical for future peace and economic stability in Venezuela.
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