The European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, said on Tuesday in an official statement that the electoral process called by the Maduro dictatorship for December does not meet the electoral conditions laid down in the Constitution and the democratic system.
“The conditions for a transparent, inclusive, free and fair electoral process have not been met,” Borrell said in his statement.
In this regard, he stressed that “to deploy an Election Observation Mission, the European Union (EU) requires guaranteed minimum conditions of credibility, transparency and inclusiveness, and the ability to observe the electoral process without interference, including unhindered access”.
The following is a full statement:
Over the past weeks I have had numerous contacts with different political actors in Venezuela, both from the regime and the opposition. The objective of these contacts was to assess the possibilities for political actors to agree on a framework for the legislative elections scheduled for December. To that end, I conveyed to them the minimum requirements defined by the opposition for a credible electoral process.
These conditions related to basic elements of the process such as the National Electoral Council; the equal participation of all political parties and their leaders whose disqualification and persecution must cease; and international electoral observation.
In the context of these contacts, I took note of the communiqué issued on August 2nd by a broad representation of Venezuelan political parties, including all those represented in the National Assembly, announcing their intention not to participate in the legislative elections.
In the meantime, the EU received an invitation from Maduro’s government to deploy an ‘electoral accompaniment mission’, a concept alien to the Union’s practice, as I pointed out to my government interlocutors. To deploy an Election Observation Mission, the EU requires guaranteed minimum conditions of credibility, transparency and inclusiveness, and the ability to observe the electoral process without interference, including unhindered access.
Following my contacts with Venezuelan political representatives and leaders, I must conclude that the conditions for a transparent, inclusive, free and fair electoral process are not met at this stage. In my contacts, I suggested the possibility of extending the electoral deadlines to accommodate the request made by the opposition. In response to that, I have received a letter from the Minister for Foreign Affairs informing me of an agreement on this matter with a section of the opposition. This is a step in the right direction, but not sufficient for the European Union to be able to deploy an Election Observation Mission. To do so, we need a precise and broadly positive response to the minimum requirements defined by the opposition. I have forwarded this letter to my opposition interlocutors, as well as to the EU Member States, which I will report in more detail at the informal ministerial meeting in Berlin, and to the states participating in the International Contact Group on Venezuela. I will also inform the States participating in the International Contact Group on Venezuela, which I will be convening at a ministerial level in the near future.