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Reply #21: The Facts about the List of “Banned Candidates” in Venezuela [View All]

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-05-08 11:07 PM
Response to Reply #10
21. The Facts about the List of “Banned Candidates” in Venezuela
The Facts about the List of “Banned Candidates” in Venezuela
by Francisco Domínguez / July 22nd, 2008

1. Comptroller General Clodosbaldo Russian, Venezuela’s top anti-corruption watchdog, submitted a list of 368 individuals (the ‘inhabilitados’) to the country’s National Electoral Council (CNE) asking it to implement a decision to prohibit them from running for public office in the upcoming regional elections in November, because they were being investigated for or had been found guilty of corruption and misuse of public funds.

2. The type of investigation conducted by the Comptroller General, is an obligation of its office, but it applies only to individuals who hold public office. The office of the Comptroller General has the legal authority to carry out administrative investigations into allegations of corruption and misuse of public funds against individuals holding public office.3

3. Although those affected have argued that the measure/decision is unconstitutional because it has not been taken by a court of law (penal or civil), the Comptroller General has argued that Art 65 of the Constitution makes it clear that “Persons who have been convicted of crimes committed while holding office or other offenses against public property, shall be ineligible to run for any office filled by popular vote, for such period as may be prescribed by law after serving their sentences, depending on the seriousness of the offense.” It continues: “Those who have been condemned for crimes committed during the exercise of their functions, which affect the public patrimony, cannot stand for office in any popular election for a period of time, fixed by the law, until the completion of the sentence, and in accordance with the gravity of the crime,” and establishes that sanctions can be applied as a result of civil, penal or administrative investigations.

4. After receiving the list from the Comptroller General (19 June 2008) on the grounds of the provisions in Art 105, the National Electoral Council (CNE) took the decision to approve the list, thus making those on it unable to hold or stand for public office for specified periods which could be up to 15 years. The CNE must be formally informed about this so that, should those individuals register as candidates, the CNE has the legal obligation to reject them. Furthermore, the CNE immediately requested Venezuela’s Supreme Court (TSJ) to pass judgment on those listed who had been put forward as candidates for governorships or mayoralties in the forthcoming elections on 23 November, 2008. Constitutionally, these individuals have the right to appeal to the TSJ against their disqualification to stand for or hold public office and it is on these grounds that the CNE requested the pronouncement of the TSJ. The CNE made it clear that the TSJ must rule on the issue before the period for the registration of candidacies, which is between 5-12 August. On 27 June the National Assembly (AN) discussed the matter and approved the decision by the Comptroller General to disqualify the individuals on the list. The decision by the AN was arrived at on the grounds of the legal and constitutional correctness of the process.

5. The Comptroller General’s Office instigated the investigations against the ‘inhabilitados’ on the list by virtue of Art 105 of the Organic Law of the Comptroller General Office, which predates the 1999 Bolivarian Constitution up to 15 years (it was introduced in 1984 under the presidency of Jaime Lusinchi and was reviewed and confirmed under the administration of President Rafael Caldera in 1995). Therefore, the legal instrument to apply sanctions against individual whose probity as holders of public office was under question was already in existence, but was simply not being applied. The current form of Art 105 was adopted in 2002 by Venezuela’s National Assembly in an almost unanimous vote, with those infavour including the opposition parties that had, at that time, a substantial presence in the Assembly (COPEI, MAS, Socialdemocrats, MVR, Convergencia, AD, COPEI, Alianza Bravo Pueblo, Podemos and Primero Justicia — at the time the chavista alliance had 192 MPs and the opposition had 100 seats in parliament.4 The Organic Law in relation to the Comptroller General’s Office gives competence and authority to the Comptroller General to instigate investigations on holders of public office at all levels about any deviation from the performance of their duties according to existing rules, regulations and laws (Arts 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13), and Arts 91, 92 (see full text of the Organic Law of the Comptroller General Office). Additionally, the Office of the Comptroller General’s attributions is also stipulated in the 1999 Constitution in Arts 25, 274, 287, 288 and 289.5 Furthermore, Art 105 gives the Comptroller General Office the authority to bar individuals from holding office, once the investigation on their probity as holders of public office, regardless of political affiliation.

6. The final list of the individuals affected can be found here. The Comptroller General, Clodosbaldo Russian, formally handed in the list to the CNE on 25 February. At the time, Russian said that the names placed on the list had been based on decisions taken by the TSJ and the Sala Constitucional, through a sentence made in 2005. However, Russian explained that these people had the right to appeal to the TSJ to contest the decision and call for their case to be reviewed.

7. Therefore, in summary, the process of disqualification to hold or stand for office in the case of the 368 individuals on the list produced by Venezuela’s Comptroller General has been:

a) conducted strictly on legal and administrative grounds and taken on the basis of lack of probity or irregularities in the performance of public duties;
b) carried out as part of the constitutional and legal obligation of the duties of the Office of the Comptroller General;
c) taken following decisions of the TSJ back in 2005;
d) made under the authority of the Organic Law of the Comptroller General Office
and of the Constitution of Venezuela;
e) the individuals affected were fully informed throughout.
e) Art 105, the main — although not the only — legal authority for the disqualifications, precedes the Bolivarian Constitution of 1999; and was in fact introduced in 1984, reviewed and approved in 1999, and again perfected in 2002 (this time) almost unanimously by Venezuela’s National Assembly including the political parties of the opposition COPEI, MAS, Socialdemocrats, Convergencia, AD, COPEI, Alianza Bravo Pueblo, Podemos (on the chavista camp at the time) and Primero Justicia;
f) the individuals on the list have the right to appeal to the Supreme Court (TSJ), they have not made use of this prerogative;
g) the CNE and the National Assembly (both within their specific legal and constitutional competencies) have approved it; the CNE has requested an official constitutional pronouncement by the TSJ;
e) the full implementation of the law in the fight against corruption where every elected public official is accountable is central to the democratic nature of the Bolivarian Revolution.
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  -Venezuela's Chavez pushes through 26 decrees Zorro  Aug-05-08 09:36 PM   #0 
  - Good for Chavez - putting the needs of the people  bitchkitty   Aug-05-08 09:49 PM   #1 
  - And by decree at that  wvbygod   Aug-06-08 12:35 PM   #51 
     - they voted again...and got it right this time  ohio2007   Mar-04-09 08:43 PM   #123 
  - Our Venezuelan friends have much to teach us about the workings of democracy  Psephos   Aug-05-08 09:53 PM   #2 
  - Ask that asshole Carmona why he fears democracy.  bemildred   Aug-05-08 09:58 PM   #3 
  - and repression will keep him there nt  realisticphish   Aug-05-08 10:00 PM   #4 
  - And elections will keep him there. nt  bemildred   Aug-05-08 10:06 PM   #8 
     - elections where he's the only candidate  realisticphish   Aug-05-08 10:12 PM   #10 
        - There have been no such elections in Venezula, and there will not be.  bemildred   Aug-05-08 10:26 PM   #14 
        - Not every "Man of the People" becomes a dictator ......hmm  ohio2007   Mar-04-09 08:47 PM   #124 
        - uh, huh  paulk   Aug-05-08 10:39 PM   #18 
        - "The Facts about the List of 'Banned Candidates' in Venezuela"  Peace Patriot   Aug-06-08 02:21 AM   #35 
        - and who appoints this "comptroller general" fellow?  paulk   Aug-06-08 09:48 AM   #46 
        - Cool...more edicts by chavez appointment and backed up by a chavez blogsite  wvbygod   Aug-06-08 12:42 PM   #53 
           - Deleted message  Name removed   Aug-06-08 12:52 PM   #55 
        - That's pretty democratic isn't it? lol n/t  Sezu   Aug-06-08 12:53 PM   #56 
        - DU'ers were aware long ago that the decision to block these candidates being investigated for corrup  Judi Lynn   Aug-05-08 10:57 PM   #20 
        - The Facts about the List of “Banned Candidates” in Venezuela  Judi Lynn   Aug-05-08 11:07 PM   #21 
        - Judi Lynn  IggyReed   Aug-06-08 12:30 PM   #50 
        - IN our country, "a public official commits fraud, rips off tax payers and steals from all of us" is  Judi Lynn   Aug-06-08 01:28 PM   #61 
           - Maybe...  IggyReed   Aug-06-08 01:38 PM   #62 
              - It doesn't take them long to spew their labels, like Joe McCarthy, without substance.  Judi Lynn   Aug-06-08 01:49 PM   #64 
        - Thank you!! for these posts. Very much appreciated.  iconicgnom   Aug-06-08 11:28 PM   #103 
        - Deleted message  Name removed   Aug-06-08 12:21 PM   #49 
        - Making up lies about socialist leaders. Where've I seen that before?  iconicgnom   Aug-06-08 11:16 PM   #102 
  - ruling by decree is democratic?  paulk   Aug-05-08 10:03 PM   #6 
     - You need to read up on how law is made here in the good old USA.  bemildred   Aug-05-08 10:05 PM   #7 
        - what does the status of the USA have to do with Venezuela nt  realisticphish   Aug-05-08 10:13 PM   #11 
        - "Ruling by decree" is how most law is made here in the USA.  bemildred   Aug-05-08 10:23 PM   #12 
        - can't you do any better than that?  paulk   Aug-05-08 10:24 PM   #13 
        - I guess talking to you got me confused about that for a moment ... nt  bemildred   Aug-05-08 10:27 PM   #15 
           - and here comes the personal insults  paulk   Aug-05-08 10:36 PM   #16 
              - Well, I just couldn't resist after you started talking about not being stupid and everything. nt  bemildred   Aug-05-08 10:43 PM   #19 
              - defend Chavez.  paulk   Aug-05-08 11:19 PM   #23 
                 - Deleted message  Name removed   Aug-05-08 11:26 PM   #25 
                 - if he'd done it by decree back then he would have had a civil war  paulk   Aug-05-08 11:39 PM   #29 
                    - The reforms he was interested in were 33, not the entire 69 issues which appeared in the referendum.  Judi Lynn   Aug-06-08 01:07 AM   #32 
                    - then why did he try to shove all 69 down the throat of VZ?  paulk   Aug-06-08 09:41 AM   #45 
                    - Rest assured...  Flatulo   Mar-06-09 09:15 PM   #128 
                 - No. You don't listen, you just insult.  bemildred   Aug-06-08 07:30 AM   #38 
                 - LOL!  paulk   Aug-06-08 09:35 AM   #44 
                 - Explain why you think it's "undemocratic" for Bill Clinton to have reinstated aid--  eridani   Aug-06-08 06:20 PM   #93 
                 - get real -  paulk   Aug-06-08 08:55 PM   #100 
                    - Explain what the difference is between a "decree" and an "executive order" n/t  eridani   Aug-07-08 06:08 AM   #108 
                    - I doubt that anyone who isn't a complete fucking idiot  paulk   Aug-07-08 10:34 AM   #111 
                    - Really?  IggyReed   Aug-07-08 01:07 PM   #114 
                       - those policies did not result from executive orders  paulk   Aug-07-08 01:27 PM   #115 
                          - Deleted message  Name removed   Aug-07-08 02:08 PM   #118 
                 - It's obvious. Because King Hugo knows best.  Dave From Canada   Mar-07-09 06:02 PM   #130 
              - Deleted sub-thread  Name removed   Aug-06-08 01:34 AM   #33 
              - How can you back Chavez...  IggyReed   Aug-06-08 12:38 PM   #52 
        - OK. Is instituting laws by decree that have been VOTED DOWN by the citzenry democratic?  rinsd   Aug-06-08 04:46 PM   #81 
           - This is rule by decree:  bemildred   Aug-06-08 05:16 PM   #87 
              - I'll take that as agreement that rule by decree is not democratic.  rinsd   Aug-06-08 05:35 PM   #88 
                 - It also seems to be O.K. when US puppets rule by decree, and it seems it was fine  Judi Lynn   Aug-06-08 05:46 PM   #89 
                 - The point is that "Rule by decree" is not the same thing as making law by decree.  bemildred   Aug-06-08 05:58 PM   #90 
                 - So using law by decree to circumvent a democratic vote by the citizenry is democratic...  rinsd   Aug-06-08 06:10 PM   #91 
                    - No, it's autocratic, authoritarian, especially is there is no way to appeal.  bemildred   Aug-06-08 06:20 PM   #94 
                 - And it's OK when Gacria and Uribe do it?  eridani   Aug-06-08 06:21 PM   #95 
  - "Didn't consult major business groups"? Oh, the humanity!  Lydia Leftcoast   Aug-05-08 10:01 PM   #5 
  - True enough  Texano78704   Aug-07-08 08:12 PM   #120 
  - Is this the same business community that failed to "consult" with Chavez when trying to kill him???  Selatius   Aug-05-08 10:06 PM   #9 
  - Venezuela makes only minor change to bank law (Reuters)  struggle4progress   Aug-05-08 10:38 PM   #17 
  - Thanks for the illuminating article from Reuters, of all sources! Very interesting.  Judi Lynn   Aug-05-08 11:10 PM   #22 
  - The international banking community needed an accurate report, I should guess  struggle4progress   Aug-05-08 11:35 PM   #27 
  - What?  Texano78704   Aug-07-08 08:15 PM   #121 
  - Quite the spin on that AP article as per usual. Who wouldn't immediate stampede over to ask question  Judi Lynn   Aug-05-08 11:24 PM   #24 
  - Some of the laws referenced in the OP  Rage for Order   Aug-05-08 11:29 PM   #26 
  - That would only alarm whore/hogs who have been bilking the masses.  Judi Lynn   Aug-05-08 11:37 PM   #28 
  - You're being snarky with the wrong person  Rage for Order   Aug-05-08 11:41 PM   #30 
  - Who wouldn't have noticed you were using the article? You said you were, as in "OP." n/t  Judi Lynn   Aug-06-08 01:05 AM   #31 
     - The I have to wonder...  Rage for Order   Aug-06-08 08:19 PM   #98 
  - So you endorse the creation of Venezuelan paramilitary organizations  Zorro   Aug-06-08 09:08 AM   #42 
  - New Decrees From Chávez Mirror Spurned Measures  Bacchus39   Aug-06-08 07:39 AM   #40 
  - It's the Associated Pukes. So we're only getting half the story...  Peace Patriot   Aug-06-08 02:10 AM   #34 
  - it is not helpful that our candidate repeats the puke mantra  leftchick   Aug-06-08 07:43 AM   #41 
  - I learn many things on these threads  Zorro   Aug-06-08 09:11 AM   #43 
  - And the thug expands his President for Life status.  onehandle   Aug-06-08 06:00 AM   #36 
  - When Chavez rule by decree, it's "democratic"  robcon   Aug-06-08 07:19 AM   #37 
  - Many, many DUers approve Bush-like behavior,  Snarkturian Clone   Aug-06-08 07:37 AM   #39 
  - Those same DUers are allergic to the phrase 'I was wrong'  Dreamer Tatum   Aug-06-08 01:04 PM   #58 
  - LOL!  IggyReed   Aug-06-08 01:18 PM   #59 
     - Blahblah ChavezgoodUSAbad blahblah  Dreamer Tatum   Aug-06-08 01:24 PM   #60 
        - ...  IggyReed   Aug-06-08 01:47 PM   #63 
           - Bush's puppet Peruvian President Alan Garcia also used these powers given him  Judi Lynn   Aug-06-08 02:16 PM   #65 
           - What the HELL are you blathering about?  Dreamer Tatum   Aug-06-08 03:24 PM   #67 
              - What I said was as clear as can be  IggyReed   Aug-06-08 04:15 PM   #75 
              - Your inconsistency disqualifies you  Dreamer Tatum   Aug-06-08 04:25 PM   #77 
                 - Pure delusion  IggyReed   Aug-06-08 04:35 PM   #79 
              - Why would you not be aware of American oil business in Venezuela?  Judi Lynn   Aug-06-08 04:51 PM   #83 
  - Ain't that the truth  nels25   Aug-06-08 02:31 PM   #66 
  - Come on  IggyReed   Aug-06-08 03:43 PM   #72 
     - So glad to see your informed posts. As you are aware, there are far too few people crowding  Judi Lynn   Aug-06-08 03:54 PM   #73 
  - Amazing, isn't it? nt  Flatulo   Mar-06-09 09:35 PM   #129 
  - Explain this for me, the "president for life" thing  IggyReed   Aug-06-08 12:49 PM   #54 
     - Don't even go THERE! lol  Mika   Mar-05-09 12:38 AM   #125 
  - Good! He has to do something about RW Colombian drug-trafficking death squads.  Joanne98   Aug-06-08 10:06 AM   #47 
  - Don't hold your breath for those  Dreamer Tatum   Aug-06-08 01:03 PM   #57 
  - It's only a matter of time before the concert...  twiceshy   Aug-06-08 11:05 AM   #48 
  - Didn't know they traveled in swarms  Lydia Leftcoast   Aug-06-08 03:26 PM   #68 
  - Deleted message  Name removed   Aug-06-08 03:30 PM   #69 
     - Back at ya  IggyReed   Aug-06-08 04:19 PM   #76 
  - Fuck the business groups but what's the story with the militias?  anonymous171   Aug-06-08 03:34 PM   #70 
  - Colombian? The ones hired by the Venezuelan oligarchy?  Judi Lynn   Aug-06-08 03:42 PM   #71 
  - It's essentially his private army  Dreamer Tatum   Aug-06-08 04:13 PM   #74 
  - Hugo thinks that is plenty of time to invade Iran and kick his ass  ohio2007   Aug-06-08 04:34 PM   #78 
  - More US exceptionalism...  IggyReed   Aug-06-08 04:40 PM   #80 
     - This is what I'm talking about  IggyReed   Aug-06-08 04:49 PM   #82 
     - better check your #'s  ohio2007   Aug-06-08 04:51 PM   #84 
        - Yep  IggyReed   Aug-06-08 04:59 PM   #86 
           - judging by your post count  ohio2007   Aug-06-08 07:28 PM   #96 
              - More amazingly brilliant comments from you, you're even more clever than you think you are  IggyReed   Aug-07-08 12:38 PM   #113 
  - You imagine Venezuela should be free to be overrun by the Colombian paramilitaries hired by the  Judi Lynn   Aug-06-08 04:57 PM   #85 
     - Judi, you have zero credibility with me when it comes to matters Venezuelan  Dreamer Tatum   Aug-06-08 11:48 PM   #105 
  - There is nothing rich people fear more than poor people who can defend themselves.  killbotfactory   Aug-06-08 06:13 PM   #92 
  - a mixture of two things  Anarcho-Socialist   Aug-07-08 08:08 AM   #109 
  - Mugabe used to be a hero to many DUers..  Imajika   Aug-06-08 07:43 PM   #97 
  - Chavez = Mugabe, you say. That's a flat out lie.  iconicgnom   Aug-06-08 11:45 PM   #104 
  - I challenge you to produce evidence supporting your claim  ronnie624   Aug-07-08 12:36 AM   #107 
  - I disagree with some of that  Anarcho-Socialist   Aug-07-08 08:15 AM   #110 
  - Well, your opinion is exactly right.  Dave From Canada   Mar-07-09 06:05 PM   #131 
  - Venezuelans protest Chavez's new socialist push  ohio2007   Aug-06-08 08:49 PM   #99 
  - More crap  IggyReed   Aug-07-08 12:03 PM   #112 
  - How's that government-managed economy doing?  Zorro   Aug-06-08 10:57 PM   #101 
     - Give it time. It worked in Japan.  iconicgnom   Aug-06-08 11:49 PM   #106 
     - Maybe Chavez should take the Japanese, rather than the East German economic model, then  robcon   Aug-07-08 01:39 PM   #116 
        - Have you read or heard about the book "MITI" by Chalmers Johnson?  IggyReed   Aug-07-08 01:56 PM   #117 
           - Japan also...  WriteDown   Aug-07-08 02:34 PM   #119 
     - Venezuela to Cut Oil Contracts as Prices Fall ( six month bump for a Rule by Decree review)  ohio2007   Mar-04-09 08:40 PM   #122 
        - I'm glad you kicked this thread. It's a classic. n/t  EFerrari   Mar-06-09 02:00 AM   #126 
           - It is an oldie but goodie, isn't it? They get so crabby when they're helpless, don't they?  Judi Lynn   Mar-06-09 02:48 AM   #127 

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