January 09, 2008

The Electoral Court on the Side of Morales?

MABB © ®

In recent days the Morales government has only willingly appointed Jose Luis Exeni to the National Electoral Court (CNE for its Spanish name). Exeni, a journalist and alleged MAS militant, has been chosen to replace Salvador Romero, whom has just finished his term as member and president of the CNE.

So, that doesn't need to mean anything, some might say. Exeni himself said he will work to guarantee the impartiallity, independence and autonomy of the electoral court. Under Romero, the CNE has carried out the last important elections with praise from the international community.

One example, I can think of that impressed me personally, is the website which has all kinds of useful information. This website stands for transparency. Nonetheless, I am still asking myself how will it be the work of the CNE with Exeni? Moreover, how will it look like after the missing three members are appointed?

There is no doubt that for a Latin American President, having the electoral court on his side is a tremendous advantage. After all, the CNE would make significantly important decisions on the electoral processes coming in 2008. Who can vote, is one decision that comes to mind.


galloglass said...

What's your opinion of Mexico's IFE and its Tribunal? Could Bolivia institute a similar organization to ensure impartiality and transparency?

miguel (mabb) said...

It seems to me that the Mexican IFE is now what the CNE is about to formerly be. Either way, it is counterproductive if the entity that regulates the elections in a country is partial and politicized.

Chavez got to consolidate his power because he had the electoral court on his side. In Mexico, seems to have been the same principle. If the head was part of the government, conflicts of interests are the least to worry about.

In my opinion, the CNE was doing a decent job until now. The elections were praised by almost everybody.

Andy said...

When will Bolivia start purchasing Smartmatic voting machines?

miguel (mabb) said...

I am tempted to say, they'll get them as part of the mutual cooperation agreements.

Andy said...

That is all you need on top of the current conflict is an referendum on the constitution for which the results announced by the electoral authority are not trusted!

mcentellas said...

Exeni certainly has leftist sympathies, but I think he was originally appointed to the CNE many years ago by Goni (he then left to work at UNDP). He was part of the Participacion Popular team, at least at various stages.