By Lizzy Okoji
International Observers have commended the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for conducting credible and transparent elections in line with the tenets of democracy.
Some of the observers, who witnessed the electoral process of the country’s Regional and Municipal elections, made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Caracas.
They also commended the way both the majority and the opposition parties worked together to ensure the success of a peaceful election.
Prof. Philip Afaha, Head of Department, History and International Studies, University of Abuja, said that the election was well-coordinated.
According to him, it is a well-coordinated process, thanks to the Electoral Council that has put things together perfectly well.
“We noticed that people even come to vote with their pets and children which indicates the peacefulness of the whole process here.
“It is uniquely transparent in the sense that both the electronic procedures is combined with the manual procedures that we know.
“The combination of the electronic and manual is the main thing that has made it most transparent and credible because when there is a hitch electronically, it can be corrected manually.
“In comparison, I think both the Nigerian system and the Venezuelan system are in a growing process. I met the opposition leader in the Miranda State and he came to introduce himself.
“We have a lot to learn from Venezuela because this is also a combination of what we are doing,” Afaha said.
Also from Nigeria, Hon. Abdullahi Candido, Chairman of the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), said that the elections showed the beauty of democracy with the peaceful participation of all political parties and citizens.
Candido said the eagerness of voters to cast their ballots also shows that they trust that their votes would count.
“Our observation is something equal to being transparent, very peaceful, and of course, an atmosphere that can be equated to see that the citizens are eager and sensitive to their responsibility.
“That on election day like this, everyone can be seen to wanting to vote.
‘’We went round and saw the beauty of democracy, people are not fighting, they are not doing anything to suggest there is thuggery.
“The electoral process was something closed to being perfect and we must give it to them,’’ he said.
Candido said that his team had been in the country for few days and saw how the people carried out their campaigns and on the eve of the election, all the political parties were dancing, celebrating.
“And, we have seen that today being the voting day people are doing their normal businesses,” he said.
Mr Marvin Gonzalez, an International Observer from the Democratic Socialists Organisation in the United States of America also said he and his team were satisfied with the electoral process.
“Today, we went to a high school where about 3,600 people were going to vote, we saw the process very smooth, people were going in and out in the span of five to fifteen minutes.
“The Director of the polling station spoke to us extensively about the process, when they start, when they finish and when they expect the results to be calculated.
“We find it to be a very smooth process, a very transparent process and we are excited to be here,” Gonzalez said.
NAN reports that over 500 International observers were invited from across the world by the Venezuelan government to have a first-hand assessment of its electoral process.
The Regional and Municipal elections of Venezuela had 3,000 candidates from different political parties contesting for 23 seats of governorship across the regions and 335 Mayorship seats across the municipalities.
The election was held Nov. 21. (NAN)