Thursday, June 14, 2007


Venezuelans not only have the good fortune to live in a fourishing democracy but I think it can be appropriately said that they live in one of the most democratic countries in the world. Some, such as the Brazilian President, Lula, have said that Venezuela has an "excess of democracy". Personally, I think the proper term for Venezuela's political system is a "hyper-democracy".

One feature that makes it so is the right of people to recall any office holder once they have reached the mid-way point of their term. This right is clearly layed out in the constitution and has already been used against even the president of the country (unsuccessfully) during his previous term.

The fact that Venezuela has this "hyper-democracy" is good new for the opposition. The reason is it potentially allows them to eventually have recall votes on various local officials and deputies of the National Assembly. Thus they don't have to wait for the full terms to be up before they can try to regain elected offices they lost in part through foolish election boycotts.

Leave it to the trememdous democratic spirit of Chavismo to bail out the opposition!!!

Various local officials who were elected in late 2004 are now elegible for recall. In order for the recall vote to be held 20% of the electors in the relevant district have to request it. That process of requesting an electorl vote is about to take place throughout Venezuela. The following diagram shows the number of offices up for recall:

The National Electoral Authority, the C.N.E., who oversees the process took out full page advertisements listing all officials up for recall:

Note that a number of well known pro-Chavez office holders are being subject to this process. They include Freddy Bernal who is mayor of part of Caracas, Tarek Saab who is governor of Anzoategui, Carlos Gimenez of Yaracuy, Diosdado Cabello who used to be Vice-President and is now governor of Miranda, and Felipe Acosta Carlez of Carabobo.

If the opposition has regained favor among the public, as some of them now claim, here is there chance to prove it - courtesy the hyper-democracy brought into being by Chavez.


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