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July 26, 1999 



Following the stunning victory by the government forces in Sunday’s vote to elect the members of the National Constituent Assembly, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez Frías met privately this morning with the Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Ambassador Christopher R. Thomas. The Chief of the OAS Electoral Observation Mission in Venezuela, Santiago Murray, and the Director of the OAS Office in Caracas, Carlos P. Carbacho, accompanied Ambassador Thomas on the visit.

During their meeting, Ambassador Thomas congratulated President Chávez on the exemplary show of civic spirit by the Venezuelan people. He also made mention of the security and assistance provided by the National Armed Forces and said the OAS was pleased with how the elections organized by the National Electoral Council had proceeded.

President Chávez meanwhile, thanked the OAS for sending the Electoral Observation Mission, stressing the importance of international observers in the elections for the National Constituent Assembly that will set Venezuela on a democratic course to meet the challenges of the next century.

The Electoral Observation Mission was sent by the OAS’ Unit for the Promotion of Democracy at the invitation of the Venezuelan government. It comprised 54 international observers who monitored the electoral process over 15 days, covering the ten main departmental centers and the Greater Caracas area.