Media Center



  December 4, 2006

Electoral Observation Mission – Presidential Election 2006 - Venezuela

The Organization of American States Electoral Observation Mission (OAS/EOM), which observed the 2006 presidential election in Venezuela at the invitation of that country’s authorities, has completed its tasks as defined in the agreement signed on October 25 by OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza and the President of Venezuela’s National Electoral Council, Tibisay Lucena.

In the course of the observation process, as in the preparation phase, we have received the cooperation of the Venezuelan authorities, political forces and civil society, to whom we express our gratitude.

The role of the OAS/EOM, under the established guidelines, was focused on observing the electoral process and the balloting itself, in order to present a report for the consideration of the Secretary General and subsequently the Permanent Council of ambassadors accredited to the OAS. In this context, our observations do not constitute a judgment on the electoral process, but rather a description of the entirety of events observed; nor do they constitute an opinion on the conduct of the campaign prior to the deployment of our personnel.

The elections unfolded in a normal manner. We did observe some occurrences which we will specify at a later time and which, in any case, arose within a general framework of legality, without affecting the trend of the results announced by the National Electoral Council.

Based on information received by members of the OAS/EOM, some situations were verified in relation to the slow pace of the process, which caused certain problems for voters, one of them being the use of the fingerprint-reading machine, which did not serve its purpose and in some cases created difficulties in the voting procedure. By contrast, we observed that beyond this stage the voting proceeded normally and quickly.

In regard to other aspects of the voting process, some problems were observed at the time the polls were to close, which raised complaints regarding the difficulty in voting and the possibility that some people might be unable to cast their vote despite being inside the polling area.

These occurrences, however, were not generalized to the point where they could be considered an obstacle calling into question the electoral process. Nor are such occurrences rare, since in other observation missions in the region and for various reasons, different types of difficulties have been detected.

The democratic process in Venezuela emerges fortified after December 3, and we are confident that the difficulties that have been cited will be overcome in the future. This process, notwithstanding any objections that could be raised, has been recognized by the vast majority of political stakeholders.

The OAS/EOM wishes to congratulate the people of Venezuela for this democratic exercise, which reaffirms the process taking place in the entire region. It also wishes to release these preliminary observations, which will be laid out in greater detail in reports that will be prepared by the Organization’s authorities.

December 4, 2006 - Caracas, Venezuela

Reference: EOM-VE-11