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National Electoral Council President: UNASUR Accord on Elections a Big Step for Latin American Democracy

The President of the National Electoral Council (CNE), Tibisay Lucena, said Wednesday that the accompaniment agreement signed by the Venezuelan electoral branch the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) represents a huge step for democracy in Latin America.

The agreement was signed at the CNE headquarters in Caracas, and outlines UNASUR’s role as an official international accompanier during the October 7 presidential elections in Venezuela. It was adopted by the regional group at an extraordinary meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of UNASUR held in Bogota on June 11.

In statements aired on Venezolana de Televisión, Lucena said: “Through solidarity, respect for national sovereignty and cooperation among equals we can continue building a more vital and dynamic democracy for our Americas.”

She thanked UNASUR’s electoral council on behalf of the Venezuelan people and said the organization is an example of what is possible through a commitment to working together, something she said is fundamental for the development of Latin American countries.

Lucena said that, for Venezuela, it is a point of pride to be the first country to receive an electoral mission of UNASUR.

“This is the right time for Latin American integration. Yesterday’s broken dreams are now a great truth, like the effort we are making here at home in Latin America to strengthen institutions and democratic achievements,” Lucena said.

The CNE president thanked Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro for his support for the electoral branch and made special mention of the Venezuelan delegates to UNASUR, Pedro Sassone and Elvis Urbina, who contributed to the process of creating the group’s electoral council.

“The experience we will obtain in this first electoral accompaniment mission will be a contribution for everyone in Venezuela and the continent. The people will ratify with their massive participation the important values present in this document [signed with UNASUR],” she concluded.

AVN/ Press Office- Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S./ August 23, 2012

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