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Venezuelan Assemblymen Accuse Public Defender of Complicity in Coup

By: Sabrina Martín - @SabrinaMartinR - Apr 7, 2017, 1:48 pm
defensoria - venezuela
Last night, Public Defender William Saab announced that the Moral Republican Council will not indict the Supreme Court of Justice’s magistrates (@Joseolivaresm).

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This morning the Venezuelan Public Defender’s office was shut down symbolically by the opposition assemblymen who protested at Tarek William Saab’s office this morning.

This Friday, April 7th, a group of members of the Democratic Unity Table (MUD) arrived at the Ombudsman’s Office and covered the office’s front with red tape all over.

The protest took place after William Saab announced on Thursday night that the Republican Moral Council will not declare serious misdemeanors committed by Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) who perpetrated a coup in Venezuela by usurping the functions of the National Assembly.

“This place defends no one. They have become accomplices of a coup, so today we came as united parliamentarians first thing in the morning,” said assemblyman Miguel Pizarro.

“This Ombudsman’s Office is of no use to Venezuela. We are telling Tarek William Saab that he must take action and proceed with the magistrate’s removal,” said assemblyman Jorge Millan.

Other legislators on the site included Marialbert Barrios, Jose Manuel Olivares, Juan Andres Mejia, Stalin Gonzalez, Tamara Adrian and Rafael Guzman.

Despite the opposition majority in the National Assembly, the TSJ has still failed to acknowledge the body, and has taken over functions of the legislative powers.

 

On Thursday, thousands of Venezuelans marched to demand that the Ombudsman’s Office and the Republican Moral Council demand the magistrates’ dismissal. However, public defender Tarek William Saab rejected the request.

Over the phone with state-run channel VTV, Public Defender William Saab ignored the request made by the thousands of protesters who faced a state security barrage of rubber pellets, tear gas, and armored trucks.

The Republican Moral Council met and decided to not deem the judges’ offenses to be serious.

“At the meeting, it was agreed to declare the opposition’s request inadmissible because it is considered out of order to pronounce on the recent TSJ judgments … The Republican Moral Council rejects the request to find the magistrates at fault.”

In the wake of this decision, the opposition and the National Assembly lost their opportunity to dismiss the Supreme Court of Justice judges. The only option left is criminal law, whereby the Public Ministry would have to respond to the lawsuit filed by the assemblymen, and decide to indict the magistrates.

Source: El Nacional

Sabrina Martín Sabrina Martín

Sabrina Martín is a Venezuelan journalist, commentator, and editor based in Valencia with experience in corporate communication. Follow @SabrinaMartinR.

The Case for Demanding a Recount in Ecuador’s Presidential Election

By: Orlando Avendaño - @OrlvndoA - Apr 7, 2017, 1:13 pm
Ecuador Recount

Español On Sunday, April 2nd, Ecuador held its second round presidential elections. The day was tense. Both candidates, Guillermo Lasso, of the CREO Movement, and Lenin Moreno of the ruling party, proclaimed victory. However, little by little the trend was confirmed in favor of the ruling candidate. In the end, the National Electoral Council (CNE) offered an official statement: Lenin Moreno would be president. The polls showed that Lasso was winning. CEDATOS declared the Movement CREO as the winner with a 6 point margin of victory. Correa's opponents began to celebrate. But the CNE, through a broadcast, extinguished the excitement. Read More: Why a "Neoliberal" Banking Mogul Could Win Ecuador's Presidency after 10 Years of Socialism Read More: Ecuador's Lasso Assures He Will Accept Results of a Presidential Recount Immediately the screams of "fraud" began to emerge. Guillermo Lasso appeared in the media to reject the results, as they did not match what the pollsters suggested. In addition, the CNE website was down. The opposition candidate announced that he would challenge the election results and called on citizens to take the streets and protest. Today, Lenin Moreno is assumed to be the winner of the elections. The Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Almagro, congratulated him. But Guillermo Lasso, along with a considerable part of civil society, say that fraud was committed. In fact, they present enough proof and first hand testimonies to suggest the evidence of fraud. The reasons why there was fraud in Ecuadorian elections According to reports from the Guillermo Lasso campaign, on Wednesday, April 5th, "a total of 1,795 records" are irregular. This adds up to 592,350 votes. In the second round, Lenin Moreno won with 5,060,114 votes; while the opposition candidate had 4,833,697. That's why the more than five hundred thousand irregular votes Lasso denounces are decisive. "After reviewing the CNE flat file, our electoral control was able to verify irregularities in the records," Lasso wrote on his Twitter account. https://twitter.com/LassoGuillermo/status/849815012071919618 Tweet: We plan on checking around 39,900 records that is almost 100% of the total Ecuadorian vote. Likewise, the CREO Movement presented documentation that shows that 82.2% of the official records coincide the ones in their possession. These were obtained thanks to the control and hard work of party observers at the polling stations. And with that 82.2% of the voting records held by the Lasso campaign, Lasso would have a 50.5% voting share compared to Lenin Moreno's 49.5% . The remaining percentage is inconsistent. In addition, the president of CREO, Cesar Monge, reported on Wednesday, April 5th, that on election day, 4.7% of polling stations were found to have "unusual" behavior. According to Monge, there was a trend in favor of Lenin Moreno in some areas, 80-20 over Lasso. However, the "socio-economic" conditions in the area suggest irregularities. Another anomaly was that on election day, April 2nd, there was an "electoral blackout", according to the opposition candidate. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); }); The National Electoral Council responded to Lasso's claims. The opposition to the ruling party only demands to recount votes. And, now, according to the president of the CNE, Juan Pablo Pozo, the recount request will be accepted in the event that CREO's evidence has sufficient grounds. Finally, Pozo said that in order to contest the results, they must first await the electoral body's proclamation of official results. All the data and complaints have been collected in a document prepared by the CREO movement. The archive was provided to PanAm Post by the publisher of the Cato Institute and columnist of the newspaper El Universo, Gabriela Calderón.

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