David Frum

04.17.13

Arrest Warrants Issued For Leaders of Venezuelan Opposition Party

Video screenshot

Luisa Estella Morales, the Supreme Tribunal chief in Venezuela, has issued arrest warrants against Henrique Cabriles, the loser of Sunday's presidential election, and members of Voluntad Popular for instigation to commit crimes.

In addition to Cabriles, Chief Morales has also issued arrest warrants for members of Cabriles' team, as well as Leopoldo López, the leader of Voluntad Popular.

All of this comes after the election results sparked massive protests accross the country with claims that the election was fixed. Since then, Chief Morales has stated that there will be a manual recount of the election results. The official results of Monday's election was 50.8% to 49%, in favor of Hugo Chavez protégé, Nicolas Maduro.

José Ignacio Hernández's piece in the Venezuelan paper, Prodavinci, explains why a recount should and must take place (H/T Juan Cristobal Nagel).

In these Presidential Elections, there were news of violent inappropriate acts which fall under the scope of what is required to contest the election. In the first case, the authorities could void the results from the entire election. In the second case, the authorities could void the votes from the affected centers, and a new election would have to be called for those centers alone as long as this affects the total outcome of the election.

The other possibility is to contest the vote tallies (total votes and number of people who voted) when there are discrepancies. That way, if the electoral result as shown in one of the documents is different from that shown in the ballots, the document would be declared void and a manual recount will have to take place (Article 221, Organic Law of Electoral Procedures). Here, you wouldn’t have to repeat the election.