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Venezuela

In law
45
In practice
16

Venezuela does not provide direct or indirect public funding for campaigns. Non-financial state resources, however, often featured in the 2013 elections, despite a clear legal prohibition on their use during campaigns. The law restricts very few contributions, and campaign spending is not limited to a maximum amount. Parties thus rely primarily on private funding. Both parties and candidates are legally required to report on their finances during campaigns, and parties must make their accounting books available for examination throughout the year. In practice, it is unclear whether financial reports are comprehensive. The political finance information of parties and candidates is classified in Venezuela, and the public is thoroughly unable to access any data on campaign contributions and expenditure. Unions and other third party actors indirectly participate in campaigns, but their independent electoral activities are not subject to any regulation. The National Electoral Council (CNE) is responsible for overseeing political finance in Venezuela. Its members are appointed by the legislature, but not on merit, and their independence is, in practice, compromised. The CNE is a passive authority, and has neither investigated nor sanctioned any potential violations of political finance laws in recent memory.

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    Direct and Indirect Public Funding

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    31
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      Direct Public Funding
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        1
        Score
        NO
        In law, there is direct public funding for electoral campaigns.More about indicator

        The Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela explicitly prohibits the direct public financing of political organizations. Article 67 states: "It shall not be allowed to finance associations for political purposes with funds issuing from the State."

        However, in 2008, the Constitutional Court declared that direct public funding of electoral campaigns for both parties and candidates is not technically banned by the Constitution, but it requires an explicit authorization by law, which does not exist yet. In other words, the legislature (Venezuelan National Assembly) may pass a law authorizing direct public funding of electoral campaigns, but such a law has not been passed. The Court reasoned that though public funding in general was banned, the Constitution did not explicitly include public funds specifically for electoral campaigns in its prohibition.

        The Court's ruling reads, “the article 67 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Republic, regarding the prohibition of direct public funding of political organizations, does not restrict the power of the State to provide public funding for electoral campaigning of political parties and associations registered at the national electoral authority, in the context of political pluralism as a rational and essential part of the participatory democracy –according to the principle of budgetary legality and observing the principle of legal reservation imposed by constitutional mandate of article 156.32 of the Constitution). Nonetheless, public funding of electoral campaigns of parties and associations requires explicit legal regulation established by the National Assembly, because of the principle of legal reservation.“ As previously stated, no such regulation exists, and as a result, there is no direct public funding for campaigns.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where there is direct public funding for both political parties and individual candidates to campaign. A 100 also applies where only one of the two actors can be elected and, therefore, only one is entitled to direct public funding.

        A MODERATE score is earned where per law only one of the two actors (either political parties or individual candidates) is allocated direct public funding to campaign, even though both can be elected.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Constitution of Bolivarian Republic Venezuela. Chapter IV. Political Rights and Popular Referendum. First Section: Political Rights, article 67. http://www.tsj.gov.ve/legislación/constitucion1999.htm English translation available from: http://www.venezuelaemb.or.kr/english/ConstitutionoftheBolivarianingles.pdf

        Constitutional Court of the Supreme Tribunal Supreme of Justice. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Ruling delivered by Justice Francisco Antonio Carrasquero Leal. Caracas, 08 May, 2008. http://www.tsj.gov.ve/decisiones/scon/Mayo/780-080508-06-0785.htm

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        2
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        NO
        In law, there is a transparent and equitable mechanism to determine direct public funding for electoral campaigns.More about indicator

        No such law exists. According to the Constitutional Court of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice, a law of public funding of campaigns is needed to authorize public subsidies for parties and candidates. Since such a law has not been passed, there is not a lawful mechanism to allocate public funds.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) direct public funding for political parties and individual candidates' electoral campaigns is allocated through a clearly defined calculation mechanism that is transparent and equitable, and 2) there are clearly defined eligibility criteria.

        A MODERATE score is earned where direct public funding for political party and individual candidates' electoral campaigns is allocated through a clearly defined calculation mechanism that is transparent and equitable, but eligibility criteria are not clearly defined.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic Venezuela. Chapter IV. Political Rights and Popular Referendum. First Section: Political Rights, article 67. http://www.tsj.gov.ve/legislación/constitucion1999.htm English translation available from: http://www.venezuelaemb.or.kr/english/ConstitutionoftheBolivarianingles.pdf

        Constitutional Court of the Supreme Tribunal Supreme of Justice. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Sentence delivered by Justice Francisco Antonio Carrasquero Leal. Caracas, 08 May, 2008 http://www.tsj.gov.ve/decisiones/scon/Mayo/780-080508-06-0785.htm

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        3
        Score
        50
        In practice, to what extent is the mechanism to determine direct public funding for electoral campaigns transparent, equitable and consistently applied?More about indicator

        Not applicable. In practice, there is no such mechanism of direct public funding of political parties and campaigns.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) electoral campaigns allocations are always defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism, and 2) the defined eligibility criteria are applied consistently.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) electoral campaign allocations are usually defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism but exceptions exist, or 2) the eligibility criteria are usually applied but exceptions exist.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) political campaign allocations are rarely or never defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism, or 2) the defined eligibility criteria are rarely applied.

        Sources

        Since there is no such law, there are no sources of information available on the mechanism.

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        4
        Score
        50
        In practice, to what extent does the entity in charge of public funding make disbursement information publicly available?More about indicator

        Not applicable. As there is no direct public funding established in law, no information about the disbursement of public funding has been published by the electoral authority.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) complete information on the disbursements is published less than a month after disbursement, and 2) the information is available on the Internet for free or in hard copy at photocopying cost.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) the information published is incomplete or published more than two months after disbursement, or 2) obtaining the information costs more than photocopying.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) disbursement information is published more than four months after disbursement, or 2) no disbursement information is published or released upon request.

        Sources

        No such law exiists.

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      Indirect Public Funding
      More about category
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        5
        Score
        YES
        In law, use of state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates is prohibited.More about indicator

        In addition to the constitutional banning of political parties’ funding, the Law against Corruption states: “Public servants and employees serve the State and do not serve any political party or economic group. Thus, they cannot make use of public goods or resources in favor of any political party, political program or specific economic interests” (article 13)

        The Law of Political Parties, in Article 24, paragraph 4, forbids parties from accepting donations or grants from public entities, and from contractors of public works or firms providing services to state property.

        The Fundamental Law of Electoral Processes (Ley Orgánica de Procesos Electorales) explicitly bans the use of public money to finance any kind of political propaganda (article 75.13).

        The General Regulations of the Fundamental Law of Electoral Processes (Reglamento General de la Ley Orgánica de Procesos Electorales) dictated by the electoral authority bans the use of public buildings, public offices and infrastructure, and public goods and services for any kind of electoral propaganda (article 205) and prohibits public servants and employees from acting in favor or against any political party or candidate by abusing the power of their positions through making political propaganda in government workplaces, publicly displaying the symbols of any political party or candidate, or making use of government agency offices and buildings to make political proselytism (Article 221).

        Finally, some special regulations enacted by the electoral authority ban the use of government resources, including human resources, in favor or against any political party or candidate (article 17 of the Regulations Number 6 of the Fundamental Law of Electoral Processes of 2010). They also prohibit the use of public goods to support (Article 18) and the use of government messages to the public for electoral campaigns (Article 19).

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where there is an explicit ban on the use of state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates. A YES is also earned where there are clearly defined exceptions, which are accessible to all actors equally.

        A MODERATE score is earned where an explicit ban exists but it only applies to one of the two actors, even though both can be elected. A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        A NO score is also earned where the law exists, but allows discretionary exceptions.

        Sources

        Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic Venezuela. Chapter IV. Political Rights and Popular Referendum. First Section: Political Rights, article 67. 1999 http://www.tsj.gov.ve/legislación/constitucion1999.htm English translation available from: http://www.venezuelaemb.or.kr/english/ConstitutionoftheBolivarianingles.pdf

        Law of Political Parties. Gaceta Oficial Nº 6.013. Article 24. Extraordinario del 23 de diciembre de 2010. 23rd December, 2010. http://www.mp.gob.ve/c/documentlibrary/getfile?plid=52151&folderId=134941&name=DLFE-2209.pdf

        Law against Corruption (Ley Contra la Corrupción). Chapter II: Principles to Prevent Corruption and Safeguarding Public Property. Article 13. Gaceta Oficial N° 5.637 (Extraordinario). April 07, 2003. http://www.ucv.ve/fileadmin/userupload/asesoriajuridica/LeyContraLaCorrupcion-5.637E.pdf

        Fundamental Law of Electoral Process. Title VI: Electoral campaign. Chapter III: Electoral Propaganda in Mass Media. Article 75. 2009. http://www.cne.gob.ve/web/normativaelectoral/leyorganicaprocesoselectorales/indice.php

        General Regulations of the Fundamental Law of Electoral Processes. National Electoral Council. Decision Number 130118-0005. Caracas, January 1, 2013. http://www.cne.gob.ve/web/normativaelectoral/reglamentos/ReglamentoGeneral_LOPRE.pdf

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        0
        In practice, to what extent are no state resources used in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates' electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        According to Carlos Berrizbeitia, an opposition member of the Venezuelan national legislature (National Assembly) who has been focused on the president's direct expenditure budget since 2010, President Maduro spent about 1.3 million US dollars daily during 30 days of campaigning in the 2013 elections, which add up to a total of more than 30 million dollars.

        In addition to that, Maduro's candidacy was mainly promoted through ads in government owned mass media (newspaper, radio and TV). A common means of campaigning, frequently used by both Maduro and the late president Chavez, has been the mandatory broadcast of speeches, meetings, press conferences, advertisement about government decisions, programs and actions, and political declarations of any kind. These mandatory broadcasts during campaign (the so-called "cadenas" in Venezuelan Spanish) lasted 28 minutes daily in average in 2013, according to expert estimates. (Andres Canizales, a journalist and scholar from the Centro de Investigaciones de la Comunicacion de la Universidad Catolica Andres Bello (CIC-UCAB).

        Chavez abused "cadenas" during his last electoral campaign (2012), and his successor made an increased use of mandatory broadcasts during his own campaign in 2013. The total number of hours of mandatory broadcasts aired in 2012 (by Chavez) was 146. In 2013, Maduro made use of a total of 169 hours of radio and TV mandatory programs. The content of both Chavez’s and Maduro’s mandatory broadcasts during and between campaigns has been always openly ideological and partisan.

        In 2012 presidential campaign, the state owned radio network, YVKE Mundial, broadcast 90% of the late president Hugo Chavez's radio ads. The opposition candidate's ads were not broadcast on that radio network. The evidence is provided by an academic independent study made by the Catholic University Andres Bello. There is no available evidence about whether or not Maduro and Chavez paid for advertising on public media. The lack of information about it indicates financial opacity.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where there is no evidence of authorities using state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates. A 100 is also earned where there are clearly defined exceptions and are equally accessible to all actors.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) documented evidence indicates occasional use of state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates, or 2) clearly defined exceptions are not equally accessible to all actors.

        A 0 score is earned where documented evidence indicates regular use of state resources in favor of or against certain political parties and individual candidates.

        Sources

        "Gobierno gasta un millón 300 mil dólares diarios en campaña electoral," Sexto Poder, Caraca, 26 March, 2013. Available from: http://venezuela.diariocritico.com/noticias/nicolas-maduro/campana-electoral/1-millon-300-mil-dolares/406929

        Monitor Electoral Presidencial 2012. Universidad Catolica Andres Bello. Caracas, September 2012.

        Interview with Luis Manuel Salamanca. Political Science and Constitutional Law Professor. Expert on Electoral Politics and Electoral Law. Universidad Central de Venezuela. Former Director of the Institute for Political Studies (at the Law School of Central University of Venezuela). Author of books, chapters and essays on electoral campaign regulations. Former Alternate Member of the National Electoral Council and the Committee of Political Participation and Funding (from April 2006 to December 2009).

        Caracas: August 21, 2014. Caden-ó-metro: Contador de horas de Nicolás Maduro en Cadena Nacional de Radio y Televisión en Venezuela. Centro de Investigaciones de la Comunicación de la Universidad Católica Andrés Bello (CIC-UCAB). Caracas: April 2, 2013- August 9, 2014 (research in progress) Available from: http://monitoreociudadano.org/cadenometro/

        Transparencia Venezuela. Letter addressed to the head of the Commission on Political Participation and Financing of the National Electoral Council (CNE). 2013. http://transparencia.org.ve/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Ratificaci%C3%B3n-CNE-09-05-13-sellada-.pdf

        Secondary source: The Carter Center. Preliminary Report. Study Mission. Presidential Elections in Venezuela. April 14, 2013. http://www.cartercenter.org/resources/pdfs/news/peacepublications/electionreports/venezuela-pre-election-rpt-2013.pdf

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        7
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        NO
        In law, political parties and individual candidates have free or subsidized access to equitable air time for electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        The Fundamental Law of Electoral Processes (2009) establishes the possibility of indirect funding. In article 78 the law establishes that “the National Electoral Council may finance, partially or totally, the broadcasting of electoral propaganda in radio, television and printed media, in accordance with the regulations established with this purposed."

        However, no mechanism exists to govern the allocation of air time.

        This means that, legally, Venezuelan parties and candidates are not prohibited from receiving indirect public funding in the form of access to air time. Yet, the article 78 of the electoral law, regarding indirect funding of electoral campaigns, has not been applied. In the national elections between 2010 and 2013, no party or candidate has been lawfully granted advertising slots because there is no regulation in place to govern the allocation of air time or other indirect resources to parties and candidates.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) free or subsidized access to air time for electoral campaigns is granted in a transparent, equitable way, and 2) there are clearly defined eligibility criteria.

        A MODERATE score is earned where free or subsidized access to air time for electoral campaigns is granted in a transparent, equitable way, but eligibility criteria are not clearly defined.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Fundamental Law of Electoral Processes. Title VI: Electoral campaign. Chapter III: Electoral Propaganda in Mass Media. Article 78. 2009. http://www.cne.gov.ve/onpc/web/documentos/Leyes/LeyOrgánicadelosProcesos_Electorales.pdf

        Constitutional Court of the Supreme Tribunal Supreme of Justice. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Sentence delivered by Justice Francisco Antonio Carrasquero Leal. Caracas, 08 May, 2008. http://www.tsj.gov.ve/decisiones/scon/Mayo/780-080508-06-0785.htm

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        8
        Score
        50
        In practice, to what extent is free or subsidized access to air time provided in a transparent, equitable way to political parties and individual candidates for electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        Not applicable. No such mechanism exists in law.

        However, since 2007, parties have not had any transparent and equitable access, either free or subsidized, to mass media. In the most recent elections (2010, 2012 and 2013), parties were supposed to finance media campaigns by their own means. Yet, it has been reported that the incumbent presidents and the majority party have taken illegal advantage of their privileged access to public media.

        According to reports of Monitoreo Ciudadano, an NGO focused on transparency and equity in the access to mass media during and between electoral campaigns, mass media were forced to broadcast electoral propaganda of President Chavez in the 2012 elections. President Chavez made frequent use of the so called “cadenas” (mandatory broadcasts simultaneously transmitted by all public radio and TV networks since 1999). During the 2012 presidential campaign, according to the above mentioned NGO, the number of mandatory broadcasts dropped off. Nonetheless, TV networks, both private and public, were forced to transmit pro-Chavez videos during the campaign, with no charge at all for the government party. The opposition candidates had no equal access to free broadcasting time.

        The opposition candidates demanded the regulation of Chavez’s “cadenas.” The electoral authority (the CNE) ruled out the demand. According to the CNE, there is a difference between electoral propaganda and the use of ads to inform citizens of government performance, policy results and the President’s future plans, and Chavez was doing the latter.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) free or subsidized access to media advertising is always provided in a transparent and equitable way, and 2) the defined eligibility criteria are applied consistently.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) free or subsidized access to media advertising is usually provided in a transparent and equitable way, but exceptions exist, or 2) the eligibility criteria are not always applied.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) there's rarely free or subsidized access to air time for political campaign, and 2) access exists but is not provided in a transparent, equitable way.

        Sources

        Interview with Luis Manuel Salamanca. Political Science and Constitutional Law Professor. Expert on Electoral Politics and Electoral Law. Universidad Central de Venezuela. Former Director of the Institute for Political Studies (at the Law School of Central University of Venezuela). Author of books, chapters and essays on electoral campaign regulations. Former Alternate Member of the National Electoral Council and the Committee of Political Participation and Funding (from April 2006 to December 2009). Caracas: August 21, 2014.

        Interview with Carlos Subero. Journalist. Editor in Chief of Notiminuto.com (www.notiminuto.com) and former Research Journalist at El Universal, (hwww.eluniversal.com/) focused on research of political funding transparency. Caracas: August 22, 2014.

        Publicidad electoral en Cadena Nacional: “Venezuela Bolivariana en Marcha” (video de 3 episodios). Monitoreo ciudadano, Caracas, May 2, 2012. http://monitoreociudadano.org/yomonitoreo/2012/05/publicidad-electoral-en-cadena-nacional-venezuela-bolivariana-en-marcha-videos/: Videos available from: http://youtu.be/nicv1Vfb5bU http://youtu.be/y0XgCS4lVkw http://youtu.be/0YgEq9yktBM http://youtu.be/YrkSGW5xWuk http://youtu.be/M3AVy5zDo6I

        Celina Carquez “Lucena: No le compete al CNE regular las cadenas presidenciales.” El Nacional. Caracas. June 30, 2012. http://redobservacionelectoral.info/nota/402

        E. Gonzalez. “Rectora Hernández reitera que no le corresponde al CNE regular las cadenas presidenciales.” Venezolana de Televisión, VTV. Caracas, July 17, 2012 http://190.9.128.170/index.php/voto2012/84967-rectora-hernandez-reitera-que-no-le-corresponde-al-cne-regular-las-cadenas-presidenciales

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    Contribution and Expenditure Restrictions

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      General Rules on Electoral Campaign Contributions
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        9
        Score
        NO
        In law, cash contributions are banned.More about indicator

        Article 257.9 of the General Regulations of the Fundamental Law of Electoral Processes bans the reception of contributions and donations deposited or transferred into candidates’ or parties’ bank accounts, or the use of “any other method that hinders or makes it impossible to know donors’ identity.” Yet, cash donations are not explicitly prohibited.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where cash contributions are banned and all financial contributions must be made via the banking system.

        A MODERATE score is earned where cash contributions are allowed up to a maximum limit, regardless of the limit.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        No such law exists.

        See General Regulations of the Fundamental Law of Electoral Processes. National Electoral Council. Decision Number 130118-0005. Article 257.9. Caracas, January 1, 2013. http://www.cne.gob.ve/web/normativaelectoral/reglamentos/ReglamentoGeneral_LOPRE.pdf

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        10
        Score
        YES
        In law, there is a ban on anonymous contributions.More about indicator

        Anonymous donations are explicitly prohibited by the General Regulations of the Fundamental Law of Electoral Process, dictated by the electoral authority. The Fundamental Law of Electoral Processes, passed by the legislature in 2009, and the Fundamental Law of the Electoral Power (2002) does not regulate the matter.

        The Law of Political Parties establishes some rules on party funding. It explicitly bans some types of donations, but it does not mention anonymous contributions.

        Thus, anonymous donations are, in law, banned. Yet, the prohibition has been established by a provision of a lower rank than a law. The prohibition was established by the electoral authority, but not by the national legislature. As a consequence, it can be easily modified or even abolished by three out of five members of the electoral council.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where the law stipulates that anonymous contributions are banned.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the ban exists, but it applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates). A MODERATE score is also earned where small anonymous donations are allowed up to a maximum threshold equal to or less than the equivalent to US$300.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        General Regulations of the Fundamental Law of Electoral Process. National Electoral Council. Decision Number 130118-0005. Article 251.1 and 9. Caracas, January 1, 2013. http://www.cne.gob.ve/web/normativaelectoral/reglamentos/ReglamentoGeneral_LOPRE.pdf

        Law of Political Parties, Public Meetings and Demostrations. Article 24.4. Gaceta Oficial Nº 6.013 Extraordinario. Caracas, December 23, 2010. http://www.cne.gob.ve/web/normativaelectoral/leypartidos_politicos/indice.php

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        11
        Score
        YES
        In law, in-kind donations to political parties and individual candidates must be reported.More about indicator

        Article 270 of the General Regulations of the Fundamental Law of Electoral Processes, establishes that all parties and candidates must record and report to the electoral authorities the value of in-kind donations and free services received during the electoral campaign. Parties and candidates should report the donor’s full identity information —which includes the donor’s address, phone numbers, national IDS number or fiscal identification number, in the case of corporate entities.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where all in-kind donations must be reported to the oversight authority.

        A MODERATE score is also earned if the requirement to report such information exists, but applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        General Regulations of the Fundamental Law of Electoral Processes. National Electoral Council. Decision Number 130118-0005. Article 270. Caracas, January 1, 2013. http://www.cne.gob.ve/web/normativaelectoral/reglamentos/ReglamentoGeneral_LOPRE.pdf

        Regulation Number 5 of the Fundamental Law of Electoral Processes on the subject of electoral campaign financing. CONSEJO NACIONAL ELECTORAL. Decision N° 100304-0043. Caracas, March 4, 2010. http://www.cne.gob.ve/web/normativaelectoral/elecciones/2010/parlamentarias/documentos/REGLAMENTO5.pdf

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        12
        Score
        YES
        In law, loans to political parties and individual candidates must be reported.More about indicator

        Parties and candidates must report all income and expenditures for electoral purposes, during the formal period of campaigning, to the electoral authority through an automatic systems system developed for that purpose. Nonetheless, laws and regulations do not explicitly make any mention of loans. Despite this, parties and candidates must include them on their financial reports.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where all loans must be reported to the oversight authority.

        A MODERATE score is earned where loans must be reported, but the requirement applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        General Regulations of the Fundamental Law of Electoral Processes. National Electoral Council. Decision Number 130118-0005. Article 259. Caracas, January 1, 2013. http://www.cne.gob.ve/web/normativaelectoral/reglamentos/ReglamentoGeneral_LOPRE.pdf

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      Limits on Contributions and Expenditures during Electoral Campaign Periods
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        13
        Score
        NO
        In law, contributions from individuals are limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        The law says nothing about contribution limits. The law prohibits contributions from certain sources, but donors face no restriction on the amount of contributions to candidates or parties, either during campaigns or between them.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) individuals may not contribute more than a maximum amount established by the law.

        A MODERATE score is earned where a maximum amount exists, but it applies only to contributions for one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates). A MODERATE score is also earned where individuals are forbidden from making any contribution.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        No such law exists.

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        14
        Score
        NO
        In law, contributions from corporations are limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        The article 257 of the General Regulations of the Fundamental Law of Electoral Processes, establishes prohibitions only on certain corporate donations—namely, government contractor firms. Other contributions from private companies to political campaigns of parties or candidates are not limited by law.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) corporations may not contribute more than a maximum amount established by the law.

        A MODERATE score is earned where a maximum amount or ban exists, but it applies only to contributions for one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates). A MODERATE score is also earned where corporations are forbidden from making any contribution.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        No such law exists.

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        15
        Score
        MODERATE
        In law, contributions from foreign sources are banned.More about indicator

        Foreign contributions to parties are banned by the Electoral Law of 2009, which prohibits foreign contributions for parties both during electoral campaign periods and between-election activities. The prohibitions are much more detailed in the general regulations established by the electoral authority.

        Foreign between-elections contributions are banned by the Law of Political Parties. This law does not apply to individual candidates, but to party organizations. This creates a loophole in the law. Candidates and/or individual citizens, who could then pass those funds along, could receive foreign contribution during between-election periods, and they would not have to report them.

        Nonetheless, other types of foreign contribution are clearly prohibited by law. Article 75.14 of the Fundamental Law of Electoral Processes bans the funding of electoral campaigns by foreign sources. Article 257 of the General Regulations of the Fundamental Law of Electoral Processes prohibits the financing of campaigns by private companies with headquarters in foreign countries; foreign governments, organizations or non-resident citizens of other countries; domestic organizations and associations financed by foreign governments or organizations; domestic private or public foundations endowed by foreign governments or institutions. Article 24 of the law of political parties also prohibits party founding by foreign companies, governments and political organizations.

        Thus, foreign contributions of any kind, during electoral campaigns, for both parties and candidates, in addition to between-election foreign contributions for parties are banned. In-kind contributions are not explicitly mentioned by the laws, but as long as in-kind donations should be reported on the basis of its monetary value, they would be considered foreign funding and, therefore, would be illegal to receive them.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where it is forbidden for political parties and individual candidates to receive contributions (financial or in-kind) from foreign sources.

        A MODERATE score is earned where: 1) the ban exists but it applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates), or 2) contributions from foreign sources are allowed to a maximum amount.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Fundamental Law of Electoral Processes. Title VI: Electoral campaign. Chapter III: Electoral Propaganda in Mass Media. Article 75. 2009. http://www.cne.gob.ve/web/normativaelectoral/leyorganicaprocesoselectorales/indice.php

        Law of Political Parties, Public Meetings and Demonstrations. Article 24.4. Gaceta Oficial Nº 6.013 Extraordinario. Caracas, December 23, 2010. http://www.cne.gob.ve/web/normativaelectoral/leypartidos_politicos/indice.php

        General Regulations of the Fundamental Law of Electoral Processes. National Electoral Council. Decision Number 130118-0005. Article 257.3, 5, 6 and 8. Caracas, January 1, 2013. http://www.cne.gob.ve/web/normativaelectoral/reglamentos/ReglamentoGeneral_LOPRE.pdf

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        16
        Score
        NO
        In law, contributions from third-party actors (unions, foundations, think tanks, political action committees, etc.) are limited to a maximum amount or banned.More about indicator

        Parties and candidates can be funded by any private domestic organization (unions, NGOs, or firms), as long they are not government contractors and do not receive foreign funds.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) third-party actors may not contribute more than a maximum amount established by the law, or 2) are forbidden from making any contribution.

        A MODERATE score is earned where: 1) the maximum amount or ban exists only for the majority of third-party actors, but not all, or 2) the maximum amount or ban exists, but applies only to contributions for either political parties or individual candidates.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        No such law exists.

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        17
        Score
        NO
        In law, election campaign spending by political parties and individual candidates is limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        For each election, the national electoral authority (CNE) enacts specific regulations on the amount that can be spent on air-time for electoral spots on radio and TV, as well as limits for advertisement space in print media. These regulations indirectly limit campaign expenditure, but there are no explicit regulations on the amount of money parties and candidates can raise and spend.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. In the 2012 presidential campaign, candidates, parties and voter’s groups were allowed to buy (with their own funds) up to three minutes a day of advertising in each broadcast TV operator and three additional minutes in each cable TV channel; four minutes in each radio station, half a page or a full page in standard-sized or tabloid newspapers, respectively; and up to three text messages per week. This regulation was updated for the 2013 presidential campaign, allowing slight increases in the quantities allowed (4 minutes for open and cable TV, 5 minutes for radio, and a page or a page and a half for newspapers). But in neither case were there limits to the amount spent on advertising.

        República Bolivariana De Venezuela. Poder Electoral. Consejo Nacional Electoral. Resolución Nº 120621-0382. Caracas, 21 June, 2012. http://www.cne.gob.ve/web/normativaelectoral/elecciones/2012/presidenciales/documentos/ReglamentoEspecialCampanaElecciones_Presidenciales2012.pdf

        República Bolivariana De Venezuela. Poder Electoral. Consejo Nacional Electoral. Resolución Nº 130309-0029. Caracas, 9 March, 2013. http://www.cne.gov.ve/web/normativaelectoral/elecciones/2013/presidenciales/resoluciones/reglamentoespecial.pdf

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where it is forbidden for political parties and individual candidates to spend more than a certain amount in a political campaign.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the maximum amount exists, but it applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        No such law exists.

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        Open Question: Do the national laws regulating political finance also apply to sub-national units? If not, to what extent do sub-national units have laws regulating political finance?More about indicator

        Venezuelan sub-national units (estates and municipalities) have no power regulate electoral campaigns and campaign funding. Such authority is reserved by the constitution to the Electoral Power (represented by the National Electoral Council) and the National Assembly.

        Article 203 of the constitution reserves the initiative for introducing legislation in the case of laws relating to electoral matters exclusively to the Electoral Power, which is exercised, according to the article 292, by the National Electoral Council as governing body, and by the latter's subordinate organs…” (the National Board of Elections, the Civil Status and Voter Registration Commission and the Commission on Political Participation and Financing). Only the Electoral Power can regulate electoral laws and resolve any doubts regarding unregulated areas raised by or contained in such laws (article 293.1 of the Constitution). It is also an exclusive function of the Electoral Power “to issue binding directives in the field of political and electoral advertising and financing, and impose penalties when such directives are not abided by” (article 293.3). Moreover, the National Electoral Council has the power to organize, administrate, direct and oversee “all acts relating to elections to fill public offices by popular vote, as well as referenda” (article 293.5).

        Article 33.1 of the Fundamental Law of the Electoral Power establishes that national, regional, municipal and parish level elections, referendums and recall referendums are organized, administrated, supervised and controlled by the National Electoral Council (CNE). No local or regional authority has the power to organize, participate or control elections and financing. The CNE has regional branches and local offices, but none of them is autonomous. The CNE has the power to impose mandatory policies over regional and local electoral subordinate authorities (article 33.33 of the Fundamental Law of Electoral Power).

        A recent example that shows the power of the national electoral authority on local elections is the Special Regulations on the electoral campaign for municipal elections 2013. They were imposed by the CNE and regulate the campaign and campaign media expenditures.

        No other institution, either national or sub-national, can regulate, manage or oversee Venezuelan elections and electoral finances. The national electoral authority can even “organize elections for labor unions, professional associations and organizations pursuing political purposes, in accordance with applicable provisions of law” (article 293.6). Thus, electoral administration (including the regulation and control of campaign funding) is highly centralized in the Venezuelan case. Consequently, national electoral and campaign funding laws and regulation apply to all election held at national, regional, local and parish level.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please describe the applicability of national political finance regulations at the sub-national level, being sure to answer: 1) whether national laws are applicable to sub-national campaigns; 2) if not, to what extent do sub-national units have similar laws regulating political finance; and 3) whether there are any reports of problems arising from gaps in this framework.

        Sources

        Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic Venezuela. Chapter IV. Political Rights and Popular Referendum. First Section: Political Rights, article Chapter V: Electoral Power; article 292 and 203, 292, 293. 1999.http://www.tsj.gov.ve/legislación/constitucion1999.htm English translation available from: http://www.venezuelaemb.or.kr/english/ConstitutionoftheBolivarianingles.pdf

        Fundamental Law of the Electoral Power. Gaceta Oficial N0. 37.573. Title 1: General Provisions, Article 33. Caracas, November 19, 2002. http://pdba.georgetown.edu/Parties/Venezuela/Leyes/poderelectoral.pdf

        Special regulations on the electoral campaign for municipal elections 2013. National Electoral Council. Caracas: June 30, 2013. http://www.sumate.org/Elecciones/2013Municipales/ReglamentoCampanaMunicipales8D2013.pdf

        Interview with Luis Manuel Salamanca. Political Science and Constitutional Law Professor. Expert on Electoral Politics and Electoral Law. Universidad Central de Venezuela. Former Director of the Institute for Political Studies (at the Law School of Central University of Venezuela). Author of books, chapters and essays on electoral campaign regulations. Former Alternate Member of the National Electoral Council and the Committee of Political Participation and Funding (from April 2006 to December 2009). Caracas: August 21, 2014

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        Open Question: What are the predominant sources of funding for electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        Most sources of electoral campaign funding are private contributions, according to financial reports presented to the overseeing authority. Parties’ and candidates’ sources of income are supposed to be exclusively private. Yet, there is no way to be certain about the origin and the amount of the money spent in Venezuelan campaigns. Candidates’ and parties financial reports are not publicly available. The law neither bans nor mandates disclosure of electoral contributions. The Supreme Court of Justice ruled against the journalist Carlos Subero’s attempt to receive constitutional protection of the right to information. Thus, in practice, the electoral authority treats information on campaign funding as confidential. In 2008, the CNE revealed to Subero only total amounts of all incomes and expenditures, with no detail by either party or item. Since that year, the CNE has not release any report on campaign funding. Similarly, campaigns treasurers and political leaders do not reveal amounts and sources of campaign funding.

        Most of the available information is provided by nonofficial sources. It is imprecise and may be misleading. Information on each party or candidate is usually given by their adversaries, who denounce crimes and impunity. In some cases, even members of the same coalition claim that they do not know the sources and amounts of their candidate’s campaign. Edgar Zambrano, a leader of the opposition party Acción Democrática (AD) in the National Assembly, said in 2012 that “We in AD are not aware of the resources donated to Capriles Radonski’s campaign headquarters.” Carlos Berrizbeitia, opposition member of the Asamblea Nacional and expert on Presidential discretionary budget, the opposition candidate spent much less money than the government’s. He estimated that Capriles spent about 10% to 15% of total Chavez’s expenditure in 2012 campaign –which equals about 0.163 million dollar daily. Yet, he recognized that he is not fully and officially informed about the opposition candidate funding.

        “Liderazgo y Visión,” a Venezuelan NGO, made use of social network to create channels for people to denounce illegal use of public resources by candidates. As a result, most denunciations were documented with pictures, and indicated date and place where the irregular situation took place. Almost all of them were related to the ruling party. Yet, the results were neither summarized nor reported to the electoral authority, as one of the leaders of the initiative said in an interview.

        Capriles was accused by first vice-president of the ruling party (PSUV) of receiving money from fugitive bank owners. Moreover, President Chavez himself added that Capriles was funded by drug lords. Government leaders did not informed about the amount and precise sources of the opposition resources. The only information available was offered by Andrés Eloy Méndez, a government member of the National Assembly, who denounced that Oscar López, Capriles’ Treasurer, illegally paid 43,000 US $ (273,000 Venezuelan bolivars) for campaign activities. Opposition parties and the candidate have never revealed the real sources of their money. They even refused to talk about such an issue. They have just said they received donations from fiends and used their own money.

        On the other hand, opposition leaders also claimed that Chavez and Maduro financed their campaigns with illegal money. According to Carlos Berrizbeitia, “Nicolas Maduro spends one 1.3 million daily (8.190.000 Venezuelan bolivars at the official exchange rate of 6,3 bolivars to dollar).” According to the same source, this amount represents a significant increase vis-à-vis Chavez’s electoral expenditures. Berrizbeita did not provide information about the origin of Maduro’s finances but he implied that the money came from illegal public sources. He added that President Maduro campaign was designed and implemented by public offices, which worked as if they were his own personal advertising firms.

        The ruling party regularly announces, during electoral campaigns, special efforts to collect contributions. Officially, they have argued that Chavez’s and Maduro’s campaigns was paid with the money provided by workers’ contributions, in addition to raffles of goods (mainly cars and buses) donated by generous donors. The most publicized source of income have been the “donation of a day of salary,” which allegedly would provide more than enough money to pay for campaign expenditures.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please describe the important sources of funding for electoral campaigns, being sure to answer: 1) where does the preponderance of funding come from - public, individual, corporate, or other; 2) to what extent do individual candidates self-finance; and 3) do political parties have other methods of generating campaign funds, such as owning their own businesses or trusts.

        Sources

        Jorge Rivas. "AD no sabe de dónde sale dinero para campaña de Capriles.” YVKE Mundial. Caracas: August 25, 2012. http://www.radiomundial.com.ve/article/ad-no-sabe-de-donde-sale-dinero-para-campa%C3%B1-de-capriles

        “Venezuela: Oposición pide revisar origen de fondos de campaña de Nicolás Maduro. Infolatam-EFE.” Caracas: Mach 28, 2013. http://www.infolatam.com/2013/03/30/venezuela-oposicion-pide-revisar-la-procedencia-de-los-fondos-de-campana-de-maduro/

        “Copei pide investigar fondos de la campaña” El Mundo. Economía y Negocios. Caracas: December13/12/2013. http://www.elmundo.com.ve/noticias/actualidad/politica/copei-pide-investigar-fondos-de-la-campana.aspx

        “Gobierno gasta un millón 300 mil dólares diarios en campaña electoral.” Sexto Poder. Caracas: March 26, 2013. http://venezuela.diariocritico.com/noticias/nicolas-maduro/campana-electoral/1-millon-300-mil-dolares/406929

        “Mafia del uribismo financia a Capriles con dinero del narcotráfico.” Marea Roja. Caracas: August, 2012. http://www.minci.gob.ve/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/marea-roja-agosto-listo.pdf

        “Chávez señala que narco financia campaña de Capriles.” EFE-El Universal (Mexico). Caracas: October 1, 2012. http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/notas/873864.html

        “Vamos juntos a financiar la Campaña de la Patria: Conozca el plan de recaudación” PSUV. Caracas: March 19, 2013. http://www.psuv.org.ve/temas/noticias/militantes-a-financiar-campana-hugo-chavez/

        “PSUV sorteará un autobús para financiar la campaña de Maduro.” El Universal. Caracas: March 13, 2013 http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/elecciones-2013/130313/psuv-sorteara-un-autobus-para-financiar-la-campana-de-maduro

        “Psuv anunció métodos para financiar campaña electoral.” El Tiempo. Puerto La Cruz: March: 14, 2013. http://eltiempo.com.ve/venezuela/politica/psuv-anuncio-metodos-para-financiar-campana-electoral/83155

        "Gobierno gasta un millón 300 mil dólares diarios en campaña electoral," Sexto Poder, Caracas 26/03/2013. Available from: http://venezuela.diariocritico.com/noticias/nicolas-maduro/campana-electoral/1-millon-300-mil-dolares/406929

        SALA CONSTITUCIONAL. Magistrado-Ponente: FRANCISCO ANTONIO CARRASQUERO LÓPEZ. Inadmisibilidad de la Solicitud de Amparo del periodista Carlos Subero. http://www.tsj.gov.ve/decisiones/scon/Julio/1171-25711-2011-10-0438.html

        “Diputado Andrés Eloy Méndez presentó pruebas de uso indebido de recursos por parte de la oposición.” Agencia Venezolana de Noticias. Caracas: August 8, 2013. http://www.avn.info.ve/contenido/diputado-andr%C3%A9s-eloy-m%C3%A9ndez-present%C3%B3-pruebas-uso-indebido-recursos-parte-oposici%C3%B3n

        Interview with Luis Manuel Salamanca. Political Science and Constitutional Law Professor. Expert on Electoral Politics and Electoral Law. Universidad Central de Venezuela. Former Director of the Institute for Political Studies (at the Law School of Central University of Venezuela). Author of books, chapters and essays on electoral campaign regulations. Former Alternate Member of the National Electoral Council and the Committee of Political Participation and Funding (from April 2006 to December 2009). Caracas: August 21, 2014.

        Interview with Carlos Subero. Journalist. Editor in Chief of Notiminuto.com (www.notiminuto.com) and former Research Journalist at El Universal, (hwww.eluniversal.com/) focused on research of political funding transparency. Caracas: August 22, 2014.

        Interview with Jesus Castellano. Advisor (Level II) at the National Committee of Political Participation and Funding of the National Electoral Council (Consejo Nacional Electoral, CNE) and Political Science Professor of Graduate Studies in Electoral Process and Systems, at the Universidad Central de Venezuela. Caracas: August 23, 2014.

        Interview with Alonso Dominguez. Liderazgo y Vision. Social leader of the social network “Usted Abuso.” Caracas, August 25 2014. http://ustedabuso.tumblr.com/

        Interview with Saul Bernal. Director of the National Office of Funding. National Electoral Council. Caracas: August 26, 2014.

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        Open Question: Have there been documented instances of violations of contribution or expenditure limits or any of the laws mentioned above (Section 2)?More about indicator

        There are no limits on contributions or expenditures in campaigns in Venezuela. That said, during the period under scrutiny, the National Prosecutor Office asked the Supreme Tribunal of Justice to override the parliamentary privileges of two opposition members of the National Assembly. Both of them were accused of financial crimes (namely, money laundering and tax evasion), which were allegedly committed during electoral campaigns. Both of them are members of Primero Justicia (PJ), the second most voted opposition party in 2010. Governor Henrique Capriles, who has run twice as the presidential candidate of the main opposition coalition (Mesa de la Unidad Democratica, MUD), is one of the funders and crucial leader of PJ.

        In March 2013, Deputy Richard Mardo was accused by the General Prosecutor, Luisa Ortega Díaz, of tax fraud and money laundering. Mardo claimed that the money he received was collected before the electoral campaign for charity proposes. In May, the Prosecutor accused another opposition representative, Juan Carlos Caldera, of illegally using his alleged personal linkages with Henrique Capriles to obtain money from a businessman for his own electoral campaign. Deputy Caldera was a candidate for the mayorship of Petare (in Caracas). Caldera had previously been accused by Capriles of using his name for unauthorized fundraising purposes.

        Finally, in August 2013, the house of another opposition leader, Oscar Lopez, was searched by the police and a court ordered his detention. Lopez was dubbed by the ruling party (PSUV), as the “czar of the opposition’s finances.” It has been reported by newspapers that Lopez flew the country to avoid getting arrested. Lopez was another member of PJ and a close co-worker of governor Capriles who was accused of money laundry, tax fraud and, additionally, association to commit crimes. He is still a fugitive from justice.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree - It is to be noted that these three accusations are not based on the reports that candidates have to present to the CNE nor on the accounting books the parties must make available to this institution. This is due to the fact that these persons cannot be accused of violating expenditure limits because such limits do not exist. The accusations may or not be true, but they are unrelated to expenditure limits. The only way to support accusations of this specific type would be to examine the financial reports presented by candidates and parties, but, as has been shown in the answers to other questions, the CNE has neither made public their content nor formally accused anyone of exceeding expending limits.

        The CNE has, however, accused some of the candidates of exceeding their quota of advertising time, but these accusations have only resulted on warnings and injunctions to correct the excess, without following through with formal sanctions. The Carter Center Report for the 2013 election states that: "According to the CNE’s monitoring, both “chavismo” and the “opposition” exceeded the maximum time allowed per candidate, which is set at four minutes daily in the special regulations for the campaign. Nevertheless, there are no published reports of sanction or administrative investigation by the CNE regarding cases of non-compliance."(Carter Center, 2013: 50)

        Scoring Criteria

        Please list and describe all documented instances of: 1) violation of contribution limits, 2) violation of expenditure limits, and 3) financial contributions that circumvent the regulatory framework. The objective of this question is to learn more about the local context, so please explain the cases in as much detail as relevant.

        Sources

        Interview with Carlos Subero. Journalist. Editor in Chief of Notiminuto.com (www.notiminuto.com) and former Research Journalist at El Universal, (hwww.eluniversal.com/) focused on research of political funding transparency. Caracas: August 22, 2014.

        República Bolivariana de Venezuela. Ministerio Público. Despacho de la Fiscal General de la República. Informe Anual 2013 a la Asamblea Nacional. Caracas: January 2014

        “Fiscal General solicitó declaratoria de antejuicio de mérito contra el diputado Richard Mardo” Caracas: March 12, 2013. http://www.mp.gob.ve/web/guest/buscador/-/journal_content/56/10136/2110670

        “Fiscal General solicitó declaratoria de antejuicio de mérito contra diputado Juan Carlos Caldera” Caracas, May 20, 2013. http://www.mp.gob.ve/web/guest/buscador/-/journal_content/56/10136/2445486

        Ordenan captura de Oscar López Colina. Caracas: August 8, 2013. http://www.el-nacional.com/politica/Ordenan-captura-Oscar-Lopez-Colina3241805819.html

        “El hombre del maletín, el zar de las finanzas” de la MUD. Diario Ojo Pelao. Caracas: August 9, 2013. http://ojopelao.com/el-hombre-del-maletin-el-zar-de-las-finanzas-de-la-mud/

        Reviewer's sources: The Carter Center. Preliminary Report. Study Mission. Presidential Elections in Venezuela. April 14, 2013 http://www.cartercenter.org/resources/pdfs/news/peacepublications/electionreports/venezuela-pre-election-rpt-2013.pdf

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    Reporting and Public Disclosure

    More about category
    composite
    29
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      Reporting Requirements to the Oversight Entity
      More about category
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        MODERATE
        In law, political parties and individual candidates report itemized contributions and expenditures both during and outside electoral campaign periods.More about indicator

        Parties and candidates must present a report of their income and expenditures to the national electoral authority during campaigns. Electoral finance reports can be filed online, both monthly or at the end of the campaign. Neither parties nor candidates have to report their finances to the electoral authority outside of electoral campaign periods.

        The General Regulations of the Fundamental Law of Electoral Processes mandates political parties, electoral organizations (including indigenous organizations that nominate candidates for indigenous representatives at National Assembly), electoral groups and self-nominated candidates to keep accounting books and detailed supports (Article 265). They must also register at the Registry of Electoral Funding Information at least five days before the starting of the electoral campaign (article 258 and 266). Registration is an on-line process. Article 259 of said regulations requires that those organizations report, through the online system, information on their incomes, expenses, accounts due and accounts receivable, within the first five days of each month. Article 271 allows the organizations to make daily reports, in order to expedite the presentation of the monthly reports. This means that the CNE has, at least monthly, detailed information about the incomes and expenses of the organizations. After the end of the campaign, the Office of Participation and Financing of the CNE makes a random selection of organizations to be audited, or it can initiate an audit at any moment during the campaign.

        Candidates’ finances outside electoral campaign periods are unregulated by electoral laws. Once the election campaign period ends, their transactions are regulated by general tax and finance laws such as any other citizen. Outside electoral campaign periods, party reports are regulated by the Law of Political Parties and the Fundamental Law on Drugs. The Law of Political Parties mandates that political parties hold accounting books, which allow preparing statements that reflect their accounts (article 24.5). Both incomes and expenditures should be held in three different accounting register books (the Daily Book, the Major Book, and the Inventory and Balances report). The pages of the books should be numbered and bounded. The books should be presented once to the electoral authority to be signed and stamped.

        If an investigation proceeds to an inquest, party finance books might be requested by the electoral authority or a criminal court. Otherwise, political parties should retain the books for five years at least from the date of the most recent transaction recorded in them.

        The anti-drug law empowers the electoral authority to oversee and audit accounting books, bank accounts and financial transactions of political parties and any other committees or organizations supporting candidates (article 196). It must be remarked that, according to Venezuelan legislation, candidates for elected offices can be nominated by political parties, personality-driven or temporary electoral organizations or even by self-nomination.

        In sum, the electoral authority has the power to supervise the accounts of all candidates and political organizations. The financial reports of both types of actors must be filed during electoral campaign periods; outside electoral campaign periods, parties’ finance books have to be available if requested.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where political parties and individual candidates are required to report itemized contributions and expenditures to the oversight authority, both during and outside electoral campaign periods.

        A MODERATE score is earned where: 1) the requirement applies for itemized contributions, but not for itemized expenditures, or 2) it applies only during the electoral campaign but not outside it. A MODERATE score is also earned where the requirement exists, but it only applies to one actor (whether political parties and individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law of Political Parties, Public Meetings and Demonstrations. Article 24.5. Gaceta Oficial Nº 6.013 Extraordinario. Caracas, December 23, 2010. http://www.cne.gob.ve/web/normativaelectoral/leypartidos_politicos/indice.php

        Fundamental Law on Drugs (Ley orgánica de drogas). Article 196.1, 2 and 3. Gaceta Oficial No. 37510. Caracas September 5, 2010. http://www.mp.gob.ve/c/documentlibrary/getfile?plid=40513&folderId=14478&name=DLFE-326.pdf

        General Regulations of the Fundamental Law of Electoral Processes. National Electoral Council. Decision Number 130118-0005. Articles 258, 259, 266, 271. Caracas, January 1, 2013. http://www.cne.gob.ve/web/normativaelectoral/reglamentos/ReglamentoGeneral_LOPRE.pdf

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        YES
        In law, political parties and individual candidates are required to report their financial information on a monthly basis during the electoral campaign.More about indicator

        During campaigns, by the General Regulations on the Law of Electoral Processes, parties, organizations (including indigenous political organizations) and candidates must use the Automatic System of Accountability set up by the CNE to provide on-line detailed information on actual and pending income and expenditures, before the first five days of each month (article 259). If parties, organizations or candidates have no access to the automatic system, they must provide written financial information to the electoral authority during the same period.

        Parties, organizations and candidates can register their financial transactions (incomes and expenditures) on a daily basis by means of the automatic only system (Automatic System of Accountability) provided by the electoral authority (article 271). They must report only at least on a monthly basis (article 272).

        Sixty natural days after the election, they should submit a final report of their accounts to the electoral authority by means of the Automatic System of Accountability (article 273). In the case of electoral coalitions, each member should report financial accounts separately.

        According to article 201 of the General Regulations on the Law of Electoral Processes, the National Electoral Council will fix the duration of the campaign for each individual election. For the 2012 presidential election, the campaign had a duration of three months and three days, from July 1st to October 4th. Due to the special circumstances of the 2013 presidential election, its duration was only 9 days, from April 2 to April 11.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where political parties and individual candidates must report monthly their financial information to the oversight authority during the electoral campaign.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the requirement exists on a quarterly basis. A MODERATE score is also earned where the requirement only applies to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        General Regulations of the Fundamental Law of Electoral Processes. National Electoral Council. Decision Number 130118-0005. Article 259. Caracas, January 1, 2013. http://www.cne.gob.ve/web/normativaelectoral/reglamentos/ReglamentoGeneral_LOPRE.pdf

        República Bolivariana De Venezuela. Poder Electoral. Consejo Nacional Electoral. Resolución Nº 120621-0382. Caracas, 21 June, 2012, Article 1. http://www.cne.gob.ve/web/normativaelectoral/elecciones/2012/presidenciales/documentos/ReglamentoEspecialCampanaElecciones_Presidenciales2012.pdf

        República Bolivariana De Venezuela. Poder Electoral. Consejo Nacional Electoral. Resolución Nº 130309-0029. Caracas, 9 March, 2013, Article 1. http://www.cne.gov.ve/web/normativaelectoral/elecciones/2013/presidenciales/resoluciones/reglamentoespecial.pdf

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        MODERATE
        In law, political parties and individual candidates are required to report their financial information on a quarterly basis outside of electoral campaign periods.More about indicator

        According to the political party law and the Fundamental Law of Drugs, political parties (but not candidates) should keep accounting books and supporting documentation, which must be presented annually to the CNE for certification. The CNE can conduct audits of presented information when it deems doing so necessary, and parties must present their accounting books to the CNE when required.

        The law does not mandate that candidates report financial transactions outside the electoral campaign periods.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where political parties and individual candidates must report quarterly their financial information to the oversight authority outside of electoral campaign periods.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the requirement exists on a yearly basis. A MODERATE score is also earned where the requirement only applies to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law of Political Parties, Public Meetings and Demonstrations. Article 24.5. Gaceta Oficial Nº 6.013 Extraordinario. Caracas, December 23, 2010. http://www.cne.gob.ve/web/normativaelectoral/leypartidos_politicos/indice.php

        Fundamental Law on Drugs (Ley orgánica de drogas). Article 196.1, 2 and 3. Gaceta Oficial No. 37510. Caracas September 5, 2010. http://www.mp.gob.ve/c/documentlibrary/getfile?plid=40513&folderId=14478&name=DLFE-326.pdf

        General Regulations of the Fundamental Law of Electoral Processes. National Electoral Council. Decision Number 130118-0005. Article 258. Caracas, January 1, 2013. http://www.cne.gob.ve/web/normativaelectoral/reglamentos/ReglamentoGeneral_LOPRE.pdf

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        25
        In practice, to what extent do political parties and individual candidates report itemized financial information monthly?More about indicator

        The electoral authority has organized training workshops with political parties' and candidates' treasurers, to help them to properly collect and present the financial information as required by law. The largest opposition coalitions (the MUD) attended the most recent workshop organized by the electoral authority. Based on the official information available on those workshops, the CNE informed parties' and candidates treasurers about the automatic system of finance reporting, and provided them a list of the required steps for reporting incomes and expenditures during campaign periods.

        Although according to government and opposition parties and coalitions (PSUV and MUD) the itemized reports have been presented to the National Electoral Council, the parties or coalitions themselves have not made these reports public. Furthermore, according to a former high-ranking official of the CNE, the reports underestimate the real level of expenditures: ""The CNE has no way to verify that the information provided by the candidates is true. The amounts declared by the parties are often laughable," … "Just looking at the display of posters in the streets and spots on the media is enough to sense that spending is much higher than reported…” (Luis Salamanca, interview, Los Angeles Hoy). In sum, reports are submitted monthly, but they do not include all accounts, contributions, and expenditures.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) political parties and individual candidates report on their financial information monthly, and 2) the reports include both itemized contributions and itemized expenditures.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) the reports are occasionally general rather than itemized or don't contain all accounts, or 2) the reporting frequency is quarterly.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) political parties and individual candidates rarely or never file reports, 2) the reports are filed but are rarely or never itemized or refer only to either contributions or expenditures, or 3) the reporting frequency is less than quarterly.

        Sources

        "CNE dictó taller para garantizar efectiva información financiera durante campaña electoral." Caracas: May 18, 2012. http://www.cne.gov.ve/web/salaprensa/noticiadetallada.php?id=2073

        YAMIS J. URBANO VALENCIA. "MUD asistirá a taller de información financiera en el CNE." El Nacional. Caracas: September 16, 2013. http://www.el-nacional.com/politica/CRONOGRAMA-MUD-MUNICIPALES-PSUV-TALLER0264573628.html

        Interview with Jesus Castellano. Advisor (Level II) at the National Committee of Political Participation and Funding of the National Electoral Council (Consejo Nacional Electoral, CNE) and Professor of Graduate Studies in Electoral Process and Systems, at the Universidad Central de Venezuela. Caracas: August 23, 2014.

        "Afirman que PSUV es el único partido que presenta cuentas". El Universal.com, June 14, 2012. http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/120614/afirman-que-psuv-es-el-unico-partido-que-presenta-cuentas

        "Comando Venezuela presentó cuentas claras de Capriles Radonski al CNE". Informe 21.com. June 22, 2012. http://informe21.com/politica/12/06/22/comando-venezuela-presento-cuentas-claras-de-capriles-radonski-al-cne

        "Ignora Venezuela gasto electoral". Hoy Los Angeles, April 10, 2013. http://hoylosangeles.com/news/2013/apr/10/ignora-venezuela-gasto-electoral/

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        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent do financial reports by political parties and individual candidates include all types of contributions?More about indicator

        The Venezuelan electoral authority does not disclose information on parties' and candidates' funding reports since 2008. Such information has been classified and, according to a decision of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice, there is no way to force disclosure. Thus, in practice, journalists, political analysts and independent media have no access to reports and it cannot be said, by any means, whether or not all contributions are in fact reported by parties and candidates. Interviewees confirm that information is entirely unavailable. Reports indicate that not all contributions are included in reports, and that not all donors are identified.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) reports include an itemized list of all contributions indicating their type (in-kind, cash where allowed, etc.) and amount (estimated value for in-kind contributions), and 2) contain donors' names and addresses (or other personal identifier).

        A 50 score is earned where only one of the two conditions listed in the 100 criteria is met.

        A 0 score is earned where neither condition is met.

        Sources

        Interview with Luis Manuel Salamanca. Political Science and Constitutional Law Professor. Expert on Electoral Politics and Electoral Law. Universidad Central de Venezuela. Former Director of the Institute for Political Studies (at the Law School of Central University of Venezuela). Author of books, chapters and essays on electoral campaign regulations. Former Alternate Member of the National Electoral Council and the Committee of Political Participation and Funding (from April 2006 to December 2009). Caracas: August 21, 2014.

        Interview with Carlos Subero. Journalist. Editor in Chief of Notiminuto.com (www.notiminuto.com) and former Research Journalist at El Universal, (hwww.eluniversal.com/) focused on research of political funding transparency. Caracas: August 22, 2014.

        Interview with Jesus Castellano. Advisor (Level II) at the National Committee of Political Participation and Funding of the National Electoral Council (Consejo Nacional Electoral, CNE) and Political Science Professor of Graduate Studies in Electoral Process and Systems, at the Universidad Central de Venezuela. Caracas: August 23, 2014.

        "Ignora Venezuela gasto electoral". Hoy Los Angeles, April 10, 2013. http://hoylosangeles.com/news/2013/apr/10/ignora-venezuela-gasto-electoral/

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      Availability of Electoral Campaigns' Financial Information to the Public
      More about category
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        26
        Score
        NO
        In law, financial information from political parties and individual candidates must be available to the public.More about indicator

        The law mandates that parties, candidates and organizations submit financial information to the electoral authority during campaign periods, but there are no regulations on public disclosure of parties', organizations' or candidates' reports.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where in law financial information of political parties and individual candidates must be made available to the public, whether online or digitally within two days of request.

        A MODERATE score is earned where financial information must be made available to the public, but no requirement exists regarding cost, format or number of days within which it must be made available.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        No such law exists.

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        27
        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent can citizens easily access the financial information of all political parties and individual candidates?More about indicator

        The National Office of Financing, as a part of the Committee of Political Participation and Financing of the National Electoral Council (also called the CNE, the Venezuelan national electoral authority) receives financial reports from candidates and political parties, and complements them with research on the sources and goals of income and expenditures. Yet, those reports are not available to citizen.

        Saul Bernal, Director of the National Office of Funding of the National Electoral Council, confirmed that citizens have no access to funding information of parties, organizations and candidates. He argues that, according to the information policies defined by the Council board, public disclosure of such information requires a specific law of control and overseeing of political funding. The National Office of Funding has been working on a law proposal since 2007, but it is yet to be finished and presented to board and, eventually, to the National Assembly.

        Some journalists have occasionally obtained unconfirmed and confidential information about party and candidates expenditures. The most recent such case referred to the 2012 presidential election, and is available from Carlos Subero' blog (Carlossubero's Weblog). According to Subero, based on comparative studies, campaign expenditures in Venezuela are under-reported.

        Nonetheless, as Subero has pointed out, the electoral authority and the supreme tribunal of justice have ruled out the possibility of giving information on parties' accounts. The only information available is aggregate figures for all parties, candidates and regional organizations, distributed by very general types of expenditure. The last attempt to obtain figures for each party, candidate and organization via official channels was made by Subero in 2010. Up to now, the CNE has not officially disclosed any information about the electoral finances of parties and candidates. The crucial issue is that party funding reports are not available citizens. Those who require information on party expenditures and income have to rely on information provided by unofficial sources.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) all relevant financial information is freely available online, 2) it can be obtained digitally within two days of requesting it, and 3) it is in a machine readable format (for example in csv or xml format).

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) information is available but in some cases is incomplete or lacking detail, 2) obtaining complete information takes up to a month, or 3) it's not necessarily digital or in machine readable format.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) the information is not publicly available, or 2) obtaining it takes more than three months, or 3) the cost of obtaining it is prohibitive for the regular citizen.

        Sources

        Interview with Saul Bernal. Director of the National Office of Funding. National Electoral Council. Caracas: August 26, 2014.

        Interview with Luis Manuel Salamanca. Political Science and Constitutional Law Professor. Expert on Electoral Politics and Electoral Law. Universidad Central de Venezuela. Former Director of the Institute for Political Studies (at the Law School of Central University of Venezuela). Author of books, chapters and essays on electoral campaign regulations. Former Alternate Member of the National Electoral Council and the Committee of Political Participation and Funding (from April 2006 to December 2009). Caracas: August 21, 2014.

        Interview with Carlos Subero. Journalist. Editor in Chief of Notiminuto.com (www.notiminuto.com) and former Research Journalist at El Universal, (hwww.eluniversal.com/) focused on research of political funding transparency. Caracas: August 22, 2014.

        Consejo Nacional Electoral. Comisión de Participación Política y Financiamiento. http://www.cne.gob.ve/copafi/index.php

        Carlos Subero. Financiamiento de campañas. Lo que cuesta la campaña presidencial. http://borisspasky.wordpress.com/tag/financiamiento-de-campanas/

        SALA CONSTITUCIONAL. Magistrado-Ponente: FRANCISCO ANTONIO CARRASQUERO LÓPEZ. Inadmisibilidad de la Solicitud de Amparo del periodista Carlos Subero. http://www.tsj.gov.ve/decisiones/scon/Julio/1171-25711-2011-10-0438.html

        Carlos Subero," EL FINANCIAMIENTO DE LAS CAMPAÑAS ELECTORALES Y EL PAPEL DEL PERIODISMO" in Foro Periodismo Independiente. Instituto Periodismo y Sociedad. Valencia, Venezuela, April 14, 2012 (Powerpoint presentation)

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        28
        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent is financial information published in a standardized format?More about indicator

        Parties and candidates, by law, submit financial information during election periods using an standard electronic format provided by the electoral authority and parties must keep accounting books using standard accounting reports. But these reports are not publicly disclosed, as the experts interviewed readily confirmed, and no publications are made.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where financial information for all political parties and individual candidates is available to the public in a standardized format.

        A 50 score is earned where only part of the information is published in a standardized format. A 50 score is also earned where the information is standardized, but it doesn't cover all political parties and individual candidates.

        A 0 score is earned where financial information is not available in a standardized format.

        Sources

        Interview with Luis Manuel Salamanca. Political Science and Constitutional Law Professor. Expert on Electoral Politics and Electoral Law. Universidad Central de Venezuela. Former Director of the Institute for Political Studies (at the Law School of Central University of Venezuela). Author of books, chapters and essays on electoral campaign regulations. Former Alternate Member of the National Electoral Council and the Committee of Political Participation and Funding (from April 2006 to December 2009). Caracas: August 21, 2014.

        Interview with Jesus Castellano. Advisor (Level II) at the National Committee of Political Participation and Funding of the National Electoral Council (Consejo Nacional Electoral, CNE) and Political Science Professor of Graduate Studies in Electoral Process and Systems, at the Universidad Central de Venezuela. Caracas: August 23, 2014.

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        29
        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent do mainstream journalism media outlets use political finance data in their reporting?More about indicator

        Mainstream newspapers and networks do not use officially reported data on political financing because such information is not made publicly available. The electoral authority has not disclosed any financial information since 2008. According to some journalists, the electoral authority, based on a decision delivered by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice on the topic, argues that there is not obligation to comply with a request for information.

        Newspapers report on the authority decisions regarding deadlines for submission of funding reports, availability of the automatic system of reporting, and the reception of some specific report submitted by a specific party or candidate, but they do not inform about amounts, sources, balances, compliance or violations of legal provisions.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where at least three independent mainstream journalism media outlets have used officially published political party or individual candidate financial information as part of their reporting.

        A 50 score is earned where one independent mainstream journalism media outlet has used officially published financial information as part of its reporting.

        A 0 score is earned where no mainstream journalism media outlet has used officially published financial information as part of its reporting.

        Sources

        Mariela Acuña Orta. "Hasta el 31 de marzo partidos políticos podrán rendir cuentas." Caracas: January 19, 2014. http://www.ultimasnoticias.com.ve/noticias/actualidad/politica/hasta-el-31-de-marzo-partidos-politicos-podran-ren.aspx

        Interview with Celina Carquez. Journalist. El Nacional. Caracas: August 11, 2014.

        Interview with Carlos Subero. Journalist. Editor in Chief of Notiminuto.com (www.notiminuto.com) and former Research Journalist at El Universal, (hwww.eluniversal.com/) focused on research of political funding transparency. Caracas: August 22, 2014.

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        30
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        25
        In practice, to what extent were there no news reports or other documented incidents of violation or abuse of political finance laws?More about indicator

        There were news reports regarding the abuse of political funding laws. Most of the cases are related to the abuse of mandatory broadcasts during electoral campaigns, imposed by the government to private and public mass media. For example, during the 2013 presidential campaign, Transparencia Venezuela, in a press interview, diagnosed this electoral process as being unfair, unequitable and lacking transparency, citing, among other factors, the abuse of mandatory broadcasts and the use of state property and personnel in campaign activities.

        Nonetheless, the reports and documents were mainly produce by independent NGOs such as Transparencia Venezuela and Espacio Publico. Mainstream media do not report on the topic regularly. A well-known political journalist, has said that mainstream newspapers, TV and radio networks self-censored information on government abuses to protect their own business. Additionally, some other NGOs, such as Monitoreo CIudadano, have documented the lack of independent public networks and the abuse of public TV networks by the government. During the 2012 and 2013 presidential campaigns, an informal citizen network, called "Usted Abuso" (You have abused), led by some young independent journalists, made use of social networks (Facebook and Twitter) to communicate scandals reported by common people and independent journalists. Most of the alleged scandals were not officially reported to the authority.

        Some newspapers reported as a scandal the sanctions imposed by the electoral authority to the opposition coalition for exceeding space and air-time limits in the campaign. It was reported as a biased decision, based on the fact that the excessive used of mandatory broadcast by the government was not regulated by the electoral authority.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where there were no news reports or other documented incidents of violation or abuse of political finance laws during the most recent national election.

        A 50 score is earned where there were news reports or other documented incidents of no more than two cases of violation or abuse of political finance laws during the most recent national election.

        A 0 score is earned where there were frequent news reports or other documented incidents of violation or abuse of political finance laws during the most recent national election.

        Sources

        Transparencia Venezuela. Informe de Denuncias Recibidas por Transparencia Venezuela en el marco del Proceso Electoral para las Elecciones Presidenciales. Caracas: Octuber 7, 2012 . http://transparencia.org.ve/biblioteca/informes/

        "Clipping de Prensa, Entrega de las 1.024 denuncias entregadas al CNE por la Red de Elección Ciudadana". Transparencia Venezuela. http://transparencia.org.ve/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Entrega-de-1.029-denuncias-al-CNE-por-la-Red-de-Elecci%C3%B3n-Ciudadana.pdf.

        Hugo Chávez promueve su partido político en Cadena Nacional (video). Caracas: May 2, 2012. http://monitoreociudadano.org/yomonitoreo/2012/05/hugo-chavez-promueve-su-partido-politico-en-cadena-nacional-video/

        Publicidad electoral en Cadena Nacional: “Venezuela Bolivariana en Marcha” (video de 3 episodios). Caracas: May 2, 2012. http://monitoreociudadano.org/yomonitoreo/2012/05/publicidad-electoral-en-cadena-nacional-venezuela-bolivariana-en-marcha-videos/

        "En acto de Chávez se violó la Constitución, dos leyes y el reglamento " Lapatilla.com Caracas: June 3, 2012.electoralhttp://www.lapatilla.com/site/2012/07/03/en-acto-de-chavez-se-violo-la-constitucion-dos-leyes-y-el-reglamento-electoral/

        Situación de la libertad de expresión en Venezuela 2012. Caracas, 2013. Espacio Publico. http://www.espacioPúblico .org/index.php/noticias/1-libertad-de-expresi/2988-informe-2013-espacio-Público -libertad-de-expresión-Venezuela

        “Usted abuso, denuncia el ventajismo.” http://ustedabuso.tumblr.com/ https://www.facebook.com/ustedabusove/info and https://twitter.com/ustedabuso. Accessed August 2014.

        "¿Y el Gobierno, no?" Tal Cual. Caracas: Octuber 1, 2012. http://talcualdigital.com/Nota/visor.aspx?id=77012

        Interview with Carlos Subero. Journalist. Editor in Chief of Notiminuto.com (www.notiminuto.com) and former Research Journalist at El Universal, (hwww.eluniversal.com/) focused on research of political funding transparency. Caracas: August 22, 2014.

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        Score
        75
        In practice, to what extent were there no news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying?More about indicator

        There were some news reports of vote-buying in the 212 and 2013 presidential elections, but these reports were not based on documented investigations and were not covered by the mainstream newspapers and networks. According to Carlos Subero, research journalists focused on electoral funding scandals and regulations. Newspapers have not focused on vote-buying tactics because it is not an evident practice in Venezuelan politics. Some local candidates, mayors and councilors might have been involved in vote-buying but newspapers apparently have not found evidence of extensive vote-buying at the national level, as long as the populist social policies (the so-called “misiones sociales”) are mechanisms of wealth redistribution that cannot be strictly classified as vote-buying.

        The available news stories are provided by foreign newspapers (such as ABC from the Spain and La Jornada from Mexico). Bloggers and independent reporters from the region have reproduced the reports, which were infrequent compared to the regional elections of 2008.

        The Spanish newspaper ABC in April 2013 reported on the alleged used of subsidized housing programs, the allocation of subsidized cars and the distribution of home appliances with no charge, to obtain electoral support for the acting president Maduro, who was running as a candidate. According to the report, subsidies and other benefits were mainly allocated to members of the military. In Venezuela, members of the military have the right to vote and, at the same time, they are in charge of security and order during elections.

        Other news papers from Mexico, the US and Colombia have reported similar news, but Venezuelan mainstream newspapers have not produced any original information on the topic.

        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. Although there are few reports of vote buying in the strict sense, such as receiving money in exchange for voting for a particular party, there are numerous reports of an alternative form of vote "buying": it coerces the voter to allow to be "assisted" in the act of voting, so the secrecy of the vote is violated. This practice exploits an electoral rule that allows the elderly and people with disabilities to be accompanied by a trusted person at the time of voting. But "assisted voting" has been used by the ruling party to threaten voters with dismissal from their jobs or deprive them of some of the cash benefits they get through government social programs (called "missions"). Instead of selling their votes in exchange for money, the voter "sells" it under duress, for fear of losing some of the goods granted by the government. Generally voters are warned days before the election to be allowed to be accompanied by an official of the ruling party and vote according to their instructions, or else lose any of those assets. This practice was reported mainly in the presidential election of 2013.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where there were no news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying during the most recent national election.

        A 50 score is earned where there were news reports or other documented incidents of no more than two cases of vote-buying during the most recent national election.

        A 0 score is earned where there were frequent news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying during the most recent national election.

        Sources

        EMILI J. BLASCO. "El Chavismo repartira 20.000 vehiculos entre militares para comprar su voto." ABC. Madird, Spain: April 2, 2013. http://www.abc.es/internacional/20130402/abci-venezuela-vehiculos-maduro-201304012124.html

        "Venezuela: Obligan a militares a conseguir votos para Maduro" Lima, Peru: March 31, 2013 http://www.reporterosenlinea.com/2013/03/31/venezuela-obligan-a-militares-a-conseguir-votos-para-maduro/

        "Chávez, el eje de la contienda por la presidencia de Venezuela." La Jornada. DF, Mexico: April 8, 2013. http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2013/04/08/mundo/021n1mun

        "Jorge Ramos opina: La máquina de hacer votos de Hugo Chávez" Univision.com . August 6, 2012. http://noticias.univision.com/article/1192997/2012-08-06/estados-unidos/noticias/la-maquina-de-hacer-votos-de-huho-chavez

        Interview with Carlos Subero. Journalist. Editor in Chief of Notiminuto.com (www.notiminuto.com) and former Research Journalist at El Universal, (hwww.eluniversal.com/) focused on research of political funding transparency. Caracas: August 22, 2014.

        Reviewer's sources: "Abusos con voto asistido empañan resultados del 14-A". El Nacional, digital edition, April 21, 2013. http://www.el-nacional.com/politica/Abusos-voto-asistido-empanan-resultados0175782533.html

        "Comando Simón Bolívar denuncia voto asistido irregular". El Universal.com, April 14, 2013. http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/elecciones-2013/130414/comando-simon-bolivar-denuncia-voto-asistido-irregular

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        0
        In practice, to what extent do civil society organizations use political finance data?More about indicator

        Civil society organizations do not use political finance data because officially published information simply unavailable. Specialized NGOs, such as Transparencia Venezuela or Espacio Publico, have denounced the lack of official information on the topic. The only official information available was obtained by a journalist, Carlos Subero, in 2008 and it is neither itemized nor documented; it is not even sorted by party or candidate, but just a list of aggregate amounts of income and expenditures.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where at least three civil society organizations have used officially published political party or individual candidate financial information as part of their advocacy or awareness work.

        A 50 score is earned where one civil society organization has used officially published financial information as part of its advocacy or awareness work.

        A 0 score is earned where no civil society organization has used officially published financial information as part of its work.

        Sources

        Transparencia Venezuela. http://transparencia.org.ve/biblioteca/comunicados/

        Espacio Público . http://espacioPúblico .org/

        Carlos Subero. http://borisspasky.wordpress.com/

        Interview with Carlos Subero. Journalist. Editor in Chief of Notiminuto.com (www.notiminuto.com) and former Research Journalist at El Universal, (hwww.eluniversal.com/) focused on research of political funding transparency. Caracas: August 22, 2014.

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        33
        Score
        --
        Open Question: Have there been political finance legal reforms or reform bills presented to the legislature in the last 10 years?More about indicator

        The first political finance reform proposal was presented by President Chavez himself, in Augost 2007, as a part of a comprehensive constitutional reform. The finance reform was included in article 67 that establishes the rights to political association. In the second paragraph, article 67 of the proposed reform says: “The State might finance political activities” (“El Estado podrá financiar las actividades electorales”), whereas the Constitution says: “No financing of associations for political purposes with State funds shall be permitted” (Article 67). The 2007 Constitutional Reform was rejected by popular vote in December 2, 2007. Nonetheless, a verdict of the Supreme Court of Justice allows the public funding of electoral campaigns, but only if the National Assembly passes a law to implement it.

        The second reform proposal was made by the then pro-Chavez party “Homeland for All” (Patria para Todos, PPT) in 2009. The proposal was discussed in the National Assembly, but the law is yet to be passed. It plans to create the so-called National Electoral, which would be financed directly as a government budget item, in the first place, and also by the fines imposed upon parties, organizations, mass media firms, candidates and other individuals for violation of electoral regulations, along with reimbursements and donations. The CNE would spend the Fund money to buy air-time and space in mass media for electoral campaigning. 50% of such space and air-time would be allocated on an equal basis to all candidates and 50% would be allocated to parties represented in the National Assembly, in proportion to their vote shares. No other type of electoral ads would be allowed.

        This proposal was analyzed and improved by the NGO “Ojo Electoral” and particularly by one its founders, Francisco Jose Virtuoso, S.J. More recently, the Observatorio Electoral Venezolano has regularly reported about the need of an electoral funding reform to improve both transparency and equity in party and campaign funding. Yet, so far, no NGO has presented a reform proposal to the national legislature.

        In August 2013, the PPT asked the National Assembly to restart the debate on law reform project. Until now, the reform is not in the legislative agenda. No other defined reform of the electoral finance rules has been proposed. President Maduro announced his intention to propose a bill of political funding. He claimed that, in order to improve political transparency, the country needed a “system of public funding of citizens’ democratic activities” and added that such a system would finance “constitutional and legal activities of citizens, parties and social movements.” No concrete legislation has yet been discussed in regards to these reforms. According to Saul Bernal, from the National Office of Funding of the National Electoral Council, the office is working on a new reform to be proposed to the National Assembly. The new reform proposal will apparently improve previous reforms proposed by the same office to the National Electoral Council in 2007 and 2009.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please list and describe all documented instances of: 1) political finance reforms, including bills passed, executive orders signed, court rulings and any other legal act that had a direct effect on existent political finance regulation, and 2) all legal reform attempts presented to the legislature even if they were not approved. Please describe the political context that produced the reforms or reform attempts.

        Sources

        Interview with Luis Manuel Salamanca. Political Science and Constitutional Law Professor. Expert on Electoral Politics and Electoral Law. Universidad Central de Venezuela. Former Director of the Institute for Political Studies (at the Law School of Central University of Venezuela). Author of books, chapters and essays on electoral campaign regulations. Former Alternate Member of the National Electoral Council and the Committee of Political Participation and Funding (from April 2006 to December 2009). Caracas: August 21, 2014.

        Conversations with Francisco Jose Virtuoso, SJ. Political Scientist. Expert on Party Funding and Electoral Campaign Regulations. Author of articles on electoral campaign funding in Venezuela. Current President of the Catholic University Andres Bello. Caracas: October, 2012

        “PPT pedirá a la AN discutir proyecto de Ley para el Financiamiento de los Partidos” Caracas: Augost 20, 2013. http://www.minci.gob.ve/2013/08/ppt-pedira-a-la-an-discutir-proyecto-de-ley-para-el-financiamiento-de-los-partidos/

        Hugo Chávez. Ahora la batalla es por el SÍ. Presentación del proyecto de Reforma Constitucional ante la Asamblea Nacional, por parte del Comandante Hugo Chávez, presidente de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela. Palacio Federal Legislativo. Caracas: August 15, 2007. http://www.minpi.gob.ve/minpi/downloads/reformaconst.pdf

        Sala Constitucional del Triubunal Supremo de Justicia de la Republica Bolivariana de Venezuela. Ponencia del Magistrado-Ponente: Francisco Antonio Carrasquero Leal. Caracas, 08 May, 2008.http://www.tsj.gov.ve/decisiones/scon/Mayo/780-080508-06-0785.htm

        Allan R. Brewer-Carias. 2009. El Juez Constitucional Como Constituyente: El Caso del Financiamiento de las Campañas Electorales de los Partidos Políticos en Venezuela (unpublished).

        Jose Virtuoso, SJ. Propuesta para la Regulación del Financiamiento de las Campanas Electorales en Venezuela. ILDIS. Caracas: 2009.

        “PPT pedirá a la AN discutir proyecto de Ley para el Financiamiento de los Partidos.” Agencia Venezolana de Noticias. Carcas: August 20, 2013. http://www.avn.info.ve/contenido/ppt-pedir%C3%A1-discutir-proyecto-ley-para-financiamiento-partidos

        “Maduro propone crear un sistema público de financiación de los partidos políticos.” Noticias24. Caracas: August 16, 2012. http://www.noticias24.com/venezuela/noticia/187519/maduro-propone-crear-un-sistema-publico-de-financiacion-de-los-partidos-politicos/

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    Third Party Actors

    More about category
    composite
    0
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      Applicability of the Law to Third-Party Actors
      More about category
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        34
        Score
        NO
        In law, third-party actors (foundations, think tanks, unions, political action committees, etc.) report itemized contributions received and expenditures to an oversight authority and the information is made publicly available.More about indicator

        Third party actors are implicitly allowed to participate in electoral campaigns only as donors (of money or in-kind services). Direct participation in electoral campaigns is reserved only to political parties, electoral organizations and candidates. Third party organizations are not authorized to conduct electoral campaigns on behalf of, for, or against candidates or parties.

        According to the Fundamental Law of Electoral Process, only those persons legally authorized by parties, electoral organizations and candidates can buy air-time and print media space to support candidates (article 75.6). Article 253 of the General Regulations of the Fundamental Law of Electoral Processes establishes that candidates and political organizations nominating candidates must notify the electoral authority of the identity of the campaign treasurer. Such a person is the only one in charge of campaign finances and only he or she must determine and report expenditures and income (Article 275).

        Thus, third party actors cannot receive or spend money independently for electoral campaign purposes. However, as long as they are not government contractors or foreign organizations, third party actors can contribute with money or in-kind resources to candidates, organizations and parties. It is their responsibility to properly reflect and report contributions for tax purposes to tax authorities, but they are not required to report their contributions to the electoral authority. Electoral finance reports are the exclusive responsibility of candidates, electoral organizations and political parties.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) third-party actors are required to report to the oversight authority itemized contributions received and expenditures related to their support of electoral campaigns, and 2) the information must be publicly available.

        A MODERATE score is earned where third-party actors are required to report itemized contributions received and expenditures related to their support of electoral campaigns, but the information is not required to be publicly available. A MODERATE score is also earned where regulations exist, but only apply to electoral campaigns of one actor (whether political party or individual candidate).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        No such law exists.

        General Regulations of the Fundamental Law of Electoral Processes. National Electoral Council. Decision Number 130118-0005. Article 253 and 275) Caracas, January 1, 2013. http://www.cne.gob.ve/web/normativaelectoral/reglamentos/ReglamentoGeneral_LOPRE.pdf

        Fundamental Law of Electoral Processes. Title VI: Electoral campaign. 2009. http://www.cne.gob.ve/web/normativaelectoral/leyorganicaprocesoselectorales/indice.php

        Law of Political Parties, Public Meetings and Demonstrations. Article 24.4. Gaceta Oficial Nº 6.013 Extraordinario. Caracas, December 23, 2010. http://www.cne.gob.ve/web/normativaelectoral/leypartidos_politicos/indice.php

        Law in Defense of Political Sovereignty and National Self-determination. Gaceta Oficial Nº 6.013 Extraordinario del 23 de diciembre de 2010. December 23, 2010. http://www.minamb.gob.ve/files/leyes-2011/No6013ledespan.pdf

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        In practice, to what extent do third-party actors (foundations, think tanks, unions, political action committees, etc.) report itemized contributions received and expenditures to an oversight authority?More about indicator

        As in law there is no requirement for third-party actors to report and they are not allowed to directly participate in the electoral campaign, in practice no such information exists. Assuming they made donations, the contributions of third party actors would be monitored by the electoral authority only as long as parties and candidates provide the legally required information about them.

        In other words, third party actors are not legally prevented from making contributions to parties and candidates. But they do not file and/or submit any financial or other any other type of report, on electoral contributions, to the electoral authorities.

        Third party actors may have contributed to campaigns in most recent elections. Yet, such information is not publicly available, due to the fact that parties and candidates finance reports are not disclosed either by the electoral authority or by candidates and parties. No interviewee had first-hand reliable information on contributions made by third parties.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where all third-party actors report to an oversight authority both itemized contributions received and itemized expenditures.

        A 50 score is earned where third-party actors report to an oversight authority either itemized contributions received or expenditures, but not both. A 50 score is also earned where the reports refer only to one type of third-party actor, but do not cover others.

        A 0 score is earned where third-party actors rarely or never report itemized contributions received or expenditures.

        Sources

        Interview with Saul Bernal. Director of the National Office of Funding. National Electoral Council. Caracas: August 26, 2014.

        Interview with Luis Manuel Salamanca. Political Science and Constitutional Law Professor. Expert on Electoral Politics and Electoral Law. Universidad Central de Venezuela. Former Director of the Institute for Political Studies (at the Law School of Central University of Venezuela). Author of books, chapters and essays on electoral campaign regulations. Former Alternate Member of the National Electoral Council and the Committee of Political Participation and Funding (from April 2006 to December 2009). Caracas: August 21, 2014.

        Interview with Carlos Subero. Journalist. Editor in Chief of Notiminuto.com (www.notiminuto.com) and former Research Journalist at El Universal, (hwww.eluniversal.com/) focused on research of political funding transparency. Caracas: August 22, 2014.

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        0
        In practice, to what extent can journalists and citizens easily access the financial information of third party actors, including the political spending of those actors in support of political parties and individual candidates?More about indicator

        Third party actors are not allowed to directly spend money in electoral campaign. They can make in-kind or money contributions to parties or candidates, but they do not have to report them. Regulations on financing reports are exclusively for parties, electoral organizations and candidates. In the same vein, only parties, electoral organizations and candidates can buy ads, organize campaign concentrations and demonstrations and, in general, make campaign for or against candidates. Thus, this question does not apply to the Venezuelan case.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. Some third party actors voluntarily share their financial information with the public to show their commitment to transparency. Usually, third party actors do not acknowledge contributing to parties or campaigns, with the possible exception of the organizations belonging to the Patriotic Pole.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) all relevant financial information is freely available online or in hard copy at the cost of photocopying, 2) it can be obtained within two days of requesting it, and 3) it is in a machine readable format (for example in csv or xml format).

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) information is available but in some cases is incomplete or lacking detail, 2) obtaining complete information takes up to a month, or 3) it's not necessarily in machine readable format.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) the information is not publicly available, or 2) obtaining it takes more than three months, or 3) the cost of obtaining it is prohibitive for the regular citizen.

        Sources

        Interview with Saul Bernal. Director of the National Office of Funding. National Electoral Council. Caracas: August 26, 2014.

        Interview with Luis Manuel Salamanca. Political Science and Constitutional Law Professor. Expert on Electoral Politics and Electoral Law. Universidad Central de Venezuela. Former Director of the Institute for Political Studies (at the Law School of Central University of Venezuela). Author of books, chapters and essays on electoral campaign regulations. Former Alternate Member of the National Electoral Council and the Committee of Political Participation and Funding (from April 2006 to December 2009). Caracas: August 21, 2014.

        Interview with Carlos Subero. Journalist. Editor in Chief of Notiminuto.com (www.notiminuto.com) and former Research Journalist at El Universal, (hwww.eluniversal.com/) focused on research of political funding transparency. Caracas: August 22, 2014.

        Reviewer's sources: "Gran Caravana del Gran Polo Patriótico y el movimiento popular por la patria y por la victoria". Aporrea.org, August 16, 2012. http://www.aporrea.org/actualidad/n212157.html

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        --
        Open Question: Please describe how third party-actors (even if they are not regulated by your country's laws) obtain contributions and spend in support of political parties and/or individual candidates.More about indicator

        The most important third party actors in Venezuela are labor unions, business organizations, professional associations and the Catholic Church (namely, the Episcopal Conference of Venezuela). None of them are allowed to be directly involved in electoral campaigns for or against candidates or parties. They can, and in some cases, they do express their opinions and concerns about specific policy and political issues. Yet, they do not nominate and promote candidates for public offices. They cannot buy electoral advertising. Theoretically, they could donate money to candidates or parties but, if they do so, they probably would do it secretly to avoid possibly strong criticisms and retaliations. Interview sources confirm that no information on the potential contributions of third party actors is available. As a result, it's unclear the extent to which they make substantial donations to parties and candidates, or whether they subvert regulations.

        The Episcopal Conference writes and publishes exhortations to parties, candidates and, particularly, the electoral authority to guarantee fair and peaceful competition during campaigns. Fedecamaras (the Venezuelan Federation of Chambers of Commerce) has avoided any direct comment on the most recent Venezuelan elections. During the 2013 post-electoral conflicts, Fedecarmas called for conciliation between political rivals. Similarly, some professional associations, such as the associations of layers in different regions, have offered free of charge consultations and assistance to Venezuelan voters.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree - In the pro-government camp, however, there is a hybrid actor, the "Polo Patriótico" [Patriotic Pole] which combines a diversity of parties supporting the government, but also a great number of social organizations, including labor unions. Although there is no information about financial contributions from the social side of the Pole, there appears to be a great deal of in kind support to the campaigns, in the form of voluntary work.

        Scoring Criteria

        To answer this question please: 1) list the types of third-party actors that exist in your country and describe how they work to influence campaigns, 2) explain how important such actors are or not in the context of campaigns, including whether their expenditures are substantial in relation to that of political parties and individual candidates, and 3) if documented evidence indicates they circumvent laws intended to regulate political finance, please explain how and include references to the evidence.

        Sources

        Interview with Saul Bernal. Director of the National Office of Funding. National Electoral Council. Caracas: August 26, 2014.

        Interview with Luis Manuel Salamanca. Political Science and Constitutional Law Professor. Expert on Electoral Politics and Electoral Law. Universidad Central de Venezuela. Former Director of the Institute for Political Studies (at the Law School of Central University of Venezuela). Author of books, chapters and essays on electoral campaign regulations. Former Alternate Member of the National Electoral Council and the Committee of Political Participation and Funding (from April 2006 to December 2009). Caracas: August 21, 2014.

        Interview with Carlos Subero. Journalist. Editor in Chief of Notiminuto.com (www.notiminuto.com) and former Research Journalist at El Universal, (hwww.eluniversal.com/) focused on research of political funding transparency. Caracas: August 22, 2014.

        Interview with Jesus Castellano. Advisor (Level II) at the National Committee of Political Participation and Funding of the National Electoral Council (Consejo Nacional Electoral, CNE) and Political Science Professor of Graduate Studies in Electoral Process and Systems, at the Universidad Central de Venezuela. Caracas: August 23, 2014.

        Conferencia Episcopal de Venezuela. Declaración de la XLII Asamblea Extraordinaria ante las Elecciones. Caracas, October 19, 2011 http://www.cev.org.ve/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=97:declaracion-de-la-xlii-asamblea-extraordinaria-ante-las-elecciones&Itemid=105

        Conferencia Episcopal de Venezuela. Comunicado “Ante las Próximas Elecciones” emitido por la Conferencia Episcopal Venezolana. Caracas, June 13, 2012 http://www.unica.edu.ve/index.php/inicio-mainmenu-1/17-especiales/1261-comunicado-ante-las-proximas-elecciones-emitido-por-la-conferencia-episcopal-venezolana

        Conferencia Episcopal Venezolana. COMUNICADO DE LA PRESIDENCIA ANTE LAS ELECCIONES PRESIDENCIALES DEL 14 DE ABRIL DEL 2013. Caracas: April 4, 2013.

        "Fedecámaras reitera necesidad de conciliación nacional." El UNiversal. Caracas: April 17, 2013. http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/elecciones-2013/130417/fedecamaras-reitera-necesidad-de-conciliacion-nacional

        Reviewer's sources: "Gran Caravana del Gran Polo Patriótico y el movimiento popular por la patria y por la victoria". Aporrea.org, August 16, 2012. http://www.aporrea.org/actualidad/n212157.html

        "La CBST – Falcón se incorpora al Comando de Campaña Carabobo". Aporrea.org, July 10, 2012. http://www.aporrea.org/actualidad/n209517.html

        "Movimientos sociales y partidos políticos aliados de Camaguán fortalecen el GPP para el triunfo de Chávez". Aporrea.org. July 8, 2012. http://www.aporrea.org/actualidad/n209356.html

        "Convocan asamblea de organizaciones del comando de campaña Hugo Chávez". La Nacion.com.ve. March 25, 2013. http://www.lanacion.com.ve/regional/convocan-asamblea-de-organizaciones-del-comando-de-campana-hugo-chavez/

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    Monitoring and Enforcement

    More about category
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      Monitoring Capabilities
      More about category
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        YES
        In law, political finance information is monitored by an independent oversight authority.More about indicator

        In Venezuela, the national electoral authority is one of the branches of the government. According to the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (1999), the Electoral Power of the State is exercised by the National Electoral Council “as governing body, and by the latter's subordinate organs, the National Board of Elections, the Civil Status and Voter Registration Commission and the Commission on Political Participation and Financing, with organization and functioning as established under the pertinent organic law” (article 292). The constitution mandates the impartiality of all members and bureaus of the Electoral Power (Article 294)

        Among the duties of the Venezuelan National Electoral Council (CNE) Fundamental Law of the Electoral Power are the imposition and enforcement of rules of campaign financing (article 33.20 and 33.24 of the Fundamental Law of the Electoral Power).

        The National Bureau of Funding (Oficina Nacional de Financiamiento), as a part of the Commission on Political Participation and Financing, is in charge of monitoring political financing information and activities of parties and candidates. Article 69 of the Fundamental Law of the Electoral Power establishes that the bureau is in charge of beginning investigations on the origin and uses of electoral funds (both incomes and expenditures) of parties, organizations and candidates, along with collecting, receiving and filing documents about the origin of funds and the financing of electoral campaigns of political parties, organizations, associations and candidates (Fundamental Law of the Electoral Power, article 69.1, 69.2 and 69.3)

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) an independent oversight authority is mandated to monitor political finance information, and 2) the authority has investigation and audit powers.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the independent oversight authority is mandated to monitor political finance information, but doesn't have investigation or audit powers.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic Venezuela. Chapter IV. Political Rights and Popular Referendum. First Section: Political Rights, article Chapter V: Electoral Power; article 292. 1999.http://www.tsj.gov.ve/legislación/constitucion1999.htm English translation available from: http://www.venezuelaemb.or.kr/english/ConstitutionoftheBolivarianingles.pdf

        Fundamental Law of the Electoral Power. Gaceta Oficial N0. 37.573. Title 1: General Provisions, Article 1. Chapter 4: Duties of the National Electoral Council, article 33.20 and 33.24, and Chapter 5: About the Committee of Political Participation and Funding, articles 64 to 67, and 69. Caracas, November 19, 2002.

        General Regulations of the Fundamental Law of Electoral Processes. National Electoral Council. Decision Number 130118-0005. Article 276-280) Caracas, January 1, 2013. http://www.cne.gob.ve/web/normativaelectoral/reglamentos/ReglamentoGeneral_LOPRE.pdf

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        MODERATE
        In law, high-level appointments to the oversight authority are based on merit.More about indicator

        Article 296 of the Constitution establishes that “the National Electoral Council (CNE) shall consist of five members having no ties to organizations for political purposes; three of these shall be nominated by civil society, one by the schools of law and political science of the national universities, and one by the Citizen Power.”

        The Citizen Power is a branch of Venezuelan government –which, contrary to the Montesquieu division of power, has five instead of three branches. The Citizen Power is formed by the union of the General Prosecutor, the General Comptroller and the chair of the National Electoral Council.

        The Fundamental Law of the Electoral Power establishes that the National Electoral Council is formed by five members, who stay in office for a seven-year period. They are appointed by two-thirds votes of the National Assembly. They can be re-appointed for two extra terms, depending on the evaluation of their management performance by the National Assembly. Each one of its main bureaus are presided over by a member of the National Electoral Council. Specifically, the Committee of Political Participation and Financing is presided over by one of the members the Council designated as representative of the civil society.

        According to article 69 of the Fundamental Law of the Electoral Power, the head of the National Office of Funding, which is in charge of monitoring electoral finance of party and candidates, is a is a Director freely appointed and removed by the member of the National Electoral Council. The law says nothing about the merits of the officers appointed to the CNE.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) high-level appointments must be based on merit in a public appointment process; and 2) appointees must be free of conflicts of interest due to personal loyalties, family connections, political party affiliations, business partners or other biases.

        A MODERATE score is earned where high-level appointments must be based on merit in a public appointment process, but the regulations don't forbid appointments involving conflicts of interest or other biases.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic Venezuela. Chapter IV. Political Rights and Popular Referendum. First Section: Political Rights, article Chapter V: Electoral Power; article 296, and Chapter IV: Citizen Power. 1999. http://www.tsj.gov.ve/legislación/constitucion1999.htm English translation available from: http://www.venezuelaemb.or.kr/english/ConstitutionoftheBolivarianingles.pdf

        Fundamental Law of the Electoral Power. Gaceta Oficial N0. 37.573. Articles 8, 21 and 69. http://www.cne.gob.ve/web/normativaelectoral/leyOrgánicaprocesoselectorales/indice.php

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        In practice, to what extent are high-level appointments to the oversight authority based on merit?More about indicator

        The most recent appointment of high-level members to the CNE was in 2009. Currently, there is an open competition to appoint three members (the chairperson or President, the Vice-President and the Head of the Bureau of Political Participation and Funding). The term of three out of five members expired in April 28, 2013.

        Even though the appointment of the CNE has been largely delayed, there has been some competition for the top positions of the National Electoral Assembly. In 2009, the Assembly, for the first time since 1999, followed the formal procedure of nomination and appointment of the CNE members. Yet, the final decision was based more on political considerations than professional merits.

        Members of the ruling party (PSUV) explicitly supported some members of the CNE, whereas the opposition parties explicitly attacked them. The following quote, taken from a web page of the ruling party, is a clear example of the apparent linkages between the chairperson of the CNE and the majority party:

        “Women of the PSUV and the Patriotic Council of Women from Ribas (a municipality) declared in a press conference a strong support for Tibisay Lucena, chairperson of the National Electoral Council. She and the institution she represents have recently been the target of attacks from the unpatriotic opposition parties during the electoral campaign for (the presidential elections) on the next April 14 (2013).”

        In the CVs of appointees that are published on the website of the CNE, one can read that before being appointed, three members out of five had not any experience as electoral experts. None of the five members is a lawyer or a political scientist focused on electoral process. Two of them were activists of the ruling party (PSUV), two were independent but with clear linkages to prominent leaders of the PSUV and one with links to some opposition NGOs and parties.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) there is an advertised competition and public vetting process, 2) candidates with the most merit and without conflicts of interest or other biases are appointed.

        A 50 score is earned where the public competition is usually advertised and the vetting process public, but exceptions exist. A 50 score is also earned where candidates with the most merit and without conflicts of interest or other biases are appointed but exceptions exist.

        A 0 score is earned where there's rarely or never a public competition, or appointees are rarely selected on merit or without conflicts of interest or other biases.

        Sources

        Consejo Nacional Electoral. Autoridades. Currículo de la Presidenta Tibisay Lucena Ramírez. Currículo de la Rectora Sandra Oblitas. Currículo del Rector Vicente Diaz. Currículo de la Rectora Socorro Elizabeth Hernández Hernández. Currículo de la Rectora Tania D' Amelio Cardiet. http://www.cne.gob.ve/web/la_institucion/autoridades.php

        “Mujeres Revolucionarias de Ribas expresan respaldo contundente a Tibisay Lucena Apoyo multitudinario a presidenta del CNE.” March 22, 2013. http://juancarlossanchez.psuv.org.ve/2013/03/22/campana/mujeres-revolucionarias-de-ribas-expresan-respaldo-contundente-a-tibisay-lucena/#.U-WHL_ldWSo

        Margarita López Maya: CNE: “¿Equilibrado o Independiente?” Ultimas Noticias, Caracas: May 20, 214. http://www.ultimasnoticias.com.ve/opinion/firmas/firma--margarita-lopez-maya/cne---equilibrado-o-independiente-.aspx

        Manuel Felipe Sierra: “El CNE y la abstención.” El Nacional, Caracas: November 2, 2012. http://www.el-nacional.com/manuelfelipesierra/CNE-abstencion073792729.html

        Roberto Abdul. “Súmate pide la renovación de los rectores del CNE.” Unión Radio, Caracas: March 31, 2014. http://www1.unionradio.net/actualidadur/Nota/visorNota.aspx?id=169190&tpCont=1

        Roberto Abdul. “Rectores del CNE tienen tres meses vencidos en sus cargos.” El Tiempo.com. Puerto La Cruz, August 4, 2014. http://eltiempo.com.ve/venezuela/organismo/rectores-del-cne-tienen-tres-meses-vencidos-en-sus-cargos/101338

        "UNT rechazó la forma "sesgada" como se adelanta selección de rectores del CNE." El Universal, Caracas, October 14, 2009. http://www.eluniversal.com/2009/10/14/polavaunt-rechazo-la-forma_14A2894211

        Interview with Luis Manuel Salamanca. Political Science and Constitutional Law Professor. Expert on Electoral Politics and Electoral Law. Universidad Central de Venezuela. Former Director of the Institute for Political Studies (at the Law School of Central University of Venezuela). Author of books, chapters and essays on electoral campaign regulations. Former Alternate Member of the National Electoral Council and the Committee of Political Participation and Funding (from April 2006 to December 2009). Caracas: August 21, 2014.

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        YES
        In law, the independence of high-level appointees is guaranteed.More about indicator

        The independence of high-level members of the National Electoral Council is guaranteed by the Constitution. Article 292 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela establishes that the National Electoral Council excises an autonomous power (the Electoral Power).

        The electoral authority has the power to address issues, review cases and make mandatory decisions on the electoral field. Yet, its decisions can be reviewed by the Electoral Chamber of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice.

        The structure, nomination process, tenure length and removal procedure is established by article 296 of the Constitution:

        “The National Electoral Council shall consist of five members having no ties to organizations for political purposes; three of these shall be nominated by civil society, one by the schools of law and political science of the national universities, and one by the Citizen Power. The three members nominated by civil society shall have six alternates in ordinal sequence, and each of the members designated by the universities and Citizen Power shall have respectively two alternates. The National Board of Elections, the Civil Status and Voter Registration Commission and the Commission on Political Participation and Financing shall each be presided over by a member designated by civil society. The members of the National Electoral Council shall hold office for seven years and shall be elected separately: the three nominated by civil society at the beginning of each term of office of the National Assembly, and the other two halfway through such term of office. The members of the National Electoral Council shall be designated by a two thirds vote of the members of the National Assembly. The members of the National Electoral Council will designate their President among them in accordance with the Law. The members of the National Electoral Council shall be subject to removal by the National Assembly, following a ruling of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice.”

        Two-thirds of the members of the National Assembly shall remove the members of the National Electoral Council. The motion can be based on a proposal made by legislators or by third parties Nonetheless, to vote the motion, it is required a decision for removal made by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice (article 31 of the Fundamental Law of the Electoral Power). The reasons for the removal of a member of the electoral authority board are: 1) political; 2) joining to a political organization; 3) direct or indirect reception of benefits from any person or organization that jeopardizes impartiality; 4) being sentenced by a criminal court or penalized by the General Comptroller for administrative wrongdoings.

        Additionally, the Fundamental Law of the Electoral Power (articles 17 to 29) establishes that, in order to appoint the members of the CNE, candidates should submit their credentials to the Nomination Committee and they should be recommended by either NGOs recognized the Assembly (three members) or the School of Law of national universities (one member). The fifth member is nominated by the General Attorney, the General Comptroller and the chairperson of the CNE. The Nomination Committee has twenty one members: 11 representatives in the National Assembly appointed by two-thirds of the attending representatives and 10 citizens nominated by social organizations and associations (article 21, Fundamental Law of Electoral Power).

        The institutional design of the electoral authority seeks to minimize party influence on electoral authority members. The independence of the members of the CNE is protected by: a) the two-third majority required to appoint them; b) the pluralism and independence of the committee of nomination; c) the difference in the length of terms, and d) the removal procedure, which requires a decision of the Supreme Court.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) appointees have the authority or mandate to review cases and issue decisions, 2) the law establishes security of tenure, and 3) removal or disciplinary actions are based on due process conducted by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        A MODERATE score is earned where appointees have the authority or mandate to review cases and issue decisions, BUT one of the second two conditions mentioned in the YES criteria is not met.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic Venezuela. Chapter IV. Political Rights and Popular Referendum. First Section: Political Rights, article Chapter V: Electoral Power; article 292 and 296. 1999. http://www.tsj.gov.ve/legislación/constitucion1999.htm English translation available from: http://www.venezuelaemb.or.kr/english/ConstitutionoftheBolivarianingles.pdf

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        25
        In practice, to what extent is the independence of high-level appointees guaranteed?More about indicator

        By all accounts, the current members of the National Electoral Council were appointed by the legislature not on the basis of their professional merits, but due to their political orientations, and they're sometimes subject to political influence. The chairperson of the CNE, Tibisay Lucena is a sociologist with PhD studies (ABD). Before to her appointment as a member and eventually as the chair of the CNE, she was an advisor of the Domestic Affairs Committee of the National Assembly (2000) and the Committee of Political Regime of the National Constituency Assembly (1999). In both cases, she was appointed by the late Representative William Lara, leader of the majority party in the legislature. In 2005, she also was a member of the National Electoral Board, which is subordinate to the CNE, appointed by the then chairman of the CNE, Jorge Rodriguez, who has been a prominent leader of the ruling party.

        The Vice Chair of the CNE, Sandra Oblitas, is also a sociologist who worked as an advisor for the CNE during the validation of the signatures asking for a presidential recall referendum, presented by the opposition to the CNE in 2003.

        Two other members of the CNE were much more involved with the ruling party before being appointed to the electoral council. Socorro Hernández, BA in Computing Science, was a Cabinet Minister of the late President Hugo Chavez until 2008, when she was appointed as a member of the CNE.

        Tania D' Amelio, who is a lawyer, was elected twice as a representative in the National Assembly (2000-2005 and 2006-2010). She was nominated as a candidate for the legislature (National Assembly) by the ruling party (PSUV). Finally, Vicente Díaz, a sociologist, is not connected to any party, but to he is linked to NGOs opposed to the central government.

        Tibsay Lucena (the chairperson), Sandra Oblitas (vice-chair) and Vicente Díaz (head of the Committee of Political Participation and Funding) are serving under expired mandates since April 28, 2013. Recently, in June 9 2014, the Supreme Tribunal of Justice decided that they have been and will continue being lawfully in charge until the National Assembly proceeds to appoint new members.

        Lower ranks of the oversight authority, namely the Director of the National Office of Funding, are freely appointed and removed without a competition process. De facto and de jure, the CNE (actually, a plurality of three out of five members) has the power to appoint and remove high and middle-rank officials of the organization.

        Not all appointees are subject to political influence. Critical evidence of this was presented by Vicente Díaz; the only non-pro-government member of the national electoral authority in a press interview in the weekly newspaper Quinto Dia. Vicente Díaz described conversations with the late President Chavez that reveal deep differences among them but also respect of one another's autonomy. Díaz has publically criticized decisions of the majority in the CNE and he has proposed sanctions against the President and the ruling party for alleged violations of financial and electoral rules. No penalty has been imposed on the presidents or their parties, but so far Díaz’s tenure has been respected.

        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. Note that Diaz has been the object of public attacks by high-ranking members of the government and its party, being the only one of the Council's Board to face this kind of attacks. Although the other members of the board are also harshly criticized by the opposition, only the government, the National Assembly and the Supreme Tribunal count with the institutional means to dismiss a member of the board. In short, the independence of the high-level appointees is compromised, in the case of the majority of four, by their own story of close links with the government and its party, and in the case of the minority of one, by the concentration of power in all the other branchs of the government.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where all of the following conditions are met: 1) appointees review cases and issue decisions without fear or favor from other branches of government, and 2) appointees are granted security of tenure and 3) no appointees are removed, disciplined or transferred without due process by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        A 50 score is earned where any of the following conditions apply: 1) appointees generally operate without fear or favor from other branches of government but exceptions exist, or 2) some but not all appointees are granted security of tenure, or 3) appointees are occasionally removed, disciplined or transferred without due process by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        A 0 score is earned where at least one of the following conditions apply: 1) appointees operate with fear or favor from other branches of government, or 2) are not granted security of tenure, or 3) are usually removed, disciplined or transferred without observing due process by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        Sources

        Consejo Nacional Electoral. Autoridades. Currículo de la Presidenta Tibisay Lucena Ramírez. Currículo de la Rectora Sandra Oblitas. Currículo del Rector Vicente Diaz. Currículo de la Rectora Socorro Elizabeth Hernández . Currículo de la Rectora Tania D' Amelio Cardiet. http://www.cne.gob.ve/web/la_institucion/autoridades.php Accessed August 2014.

        Decisión de la Sala Constitucional del TSJ. Rectores del CNE con el período vencido ejercerán sus funciones hasta que la AN designe a nuevas autoridades del Poder Electoral. Caracas: June 09, 2014. http://www.tsj.gov.ve/informacion/notasdeprensa/notasdeprensa.asp?codigo=11905

        Oliver Parra. Confesiones de Vicente Díaz. Rector Principal del CNE. Presidente de la Comisión de Participación Política y Financiamiento. Caracas: August, 28, 2008. http://www.quin todia.net/seccion/entrevista/2808/confesiones-de-Vicente-d-az/

        Interview with Luis Manuel Salamanca. Political Science and Constitutional Law Professor. Expert on Electoral Politics and Electoral Law. Universidad Central de Venezuela. Former Director of the Institute for Political Studies (at the Law School of Central University of Venezuela). Author of books, chapters and essays on electoral campaign regulations. Former Alternate Member of the National Electoral Council and the Committee of Political Participation and Funding (from April 2006 to December 2009). Caracas: August 21, 2014.

        Interview with Jesus Castellano. Advisor (Level II) at the National Committee of Political Participation and Funding of the National Electoral Council (Consejo Nacional Electoral, CNE) and Political Science Professor of Graduate Studies in Electoral Process and Systems, at the Universidad Central de Venezuela. Caracas: August 23, 2014.

        Reviewer's sources: "Diosdado Cabello fustiga a Vicente Díaz: 'Sólo obedece a las líneas que le da la oposición'". Notiactual.com, June 17, 2012. http://www.notiactual.com/diosdado-cabello-fustiga-a-vicente-diaz-solo-obedece-a-las-lineas-que-le-da-la-oposicion-video/

        "Rector Vicente Díaz y Capriles usan el mismo guión sobre el acuerdo del CNE". Aporrea.org. July 14, 2012. http://www.aporrea.org/actualidad/n209827.html

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        Open Question: How does decision-making work in the oversight authority?More about indicator

        Decisions of the oversight authority are made by majority. In some cases, they try to reach decisions by consensus but unanimity is not required by law. The specific department of party funding supervision (the Committee of Political Participation and Financing) is headed by Vicente Diaz, the unique member of the National Electoral Council not linked to the ruling party. Yet, the Committee is under the authority of the Council, which actually dictates regulations and decides on the Committee’s activities. A majority is required in all decisions. The Council is formed by five members.

        Four out of five members of the CNE were closely linked to the ruling party before being appointed by the National Assembly. As a consequence, the decision-making process is usually highly politicized. A show-case of politicized decision-making is the position of the electoral authority regarding the use and abuse of presidential mandatory broadcasts during electoral campaigns. Another substantiated complaint about the decision making-process is related to the way in which public television (the state owned Venezolana de Television) reports campaigns events. The news coverage of presidential campaigns by VTV has been extremely biased against the opposition candidate and in favor of the President running for reelection. Vicente Diaz has said that the CNE “must be able to show who the boss is and assume the responsibility of enforcing the electoral law.” Yet, as he also has said, the majority in the CNE has systematically refused to limit presidential abuse of power.

        The CNE’s members actually make almost all decisions they are empowered by law to make. They organize, supervise and manage national and sub-national elections. The CNE defines electoral districts (the so-called “circumscriptions”) and administers the voting registration process and the national and sub-national electoral rolls. The CNE have even supported the organization of party primary elections. The CNE writes and makes decision about the enforcement of the electoral regulations. The electoral authority defines the electoral calendars.

        They proclaim and validate electoral results, in terms of the law. They administer their budget and appoint subordinate officials.

        According to the Director of the National Office of Funding, the office has successfully implemented an automatic system of electoral funding oversight. Parties and candidates regularly inform about their incomes and expenditures both for electoral purposes and outside electoral periods. Nonetheless, there are two flaws in the process. First, the electoral authority does not impose sanctions for violating funding regulations, because the imposition of sanctions would require a specific law which is yet to be passed. Second, the board has not authorized audits of books and financial information provided regularly by parties or candidates.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please describe: 1) the composition of the decision-making body within the oversight authority, 2) the type of decisions it's allowed to make and makes in practice, and 3) in which cases majority is required. If there have been well substantiated complaints about the decision-making process being ineffective or politicized please explain.

        Sources

        Oliver Parra. Confesiones de Vicente Díaz. Rector Principal del CNE. Presidente de la Comisión de Participación Política y Financiamiento. Caracas: August, 28, 2008. http://www.quintodia.net/seccion/entrevista/2808/confesiones-de-Vicente-d-az/

        "Díaz denunciará ante el CNE uso de cadenas presidenciales para campaña." El Universal. Caracas: July 14, 2012. http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/elecciones-2012/120714/diaz-denunciara-ante-el-cne-uso-de-cadenas-presidenciales-para-campana

        Vicente Díaz, rector CNE: la campaña para el 8D arrancó con “un desequilibrio terrible” RunRun.es. Caracas: November 19, 2013. http://runrun.es/impacto/93268/Vicente-diaz-rector-cne-la-campana-para-el-8d-arranco-con-un-desequilibrio-terrible.html

        Interview with Luis Manuel Salamanca. Political Science and Constitutional Law Professor. Expert on Electoral Politics and Electoral Law. Universidad Central de Venezuela. Former Director of the Institute for Political Studies (at the Law School of Central University of Venezuela). Author of books, chapters and essays on electoral campaign regulations. Former Alternate Member of the National Electoral Council and the Committee of Political Participation and Funding (from April 2006 to December 2009). Caracas: August 21, 2014.

        Interview with Jesus Castellano. Advisor (Level II) at the National Committee of Political Participation and Funding of the National Electoral Council (Consejo Nacional Electoral, CNE) and Political Science Professor of Graduate Studies in Electoral Process and Systems, at the Universidad Central de Venezuela. Caracas: August 23, 2014.

        Interview with Saul Bernal. Director of the National Office of Funding. National Electoral Council. Caracas: August 26, 2014.

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        0
        In practice, to what extent does the authority have sufficient capacity to monitor political finance regulations?More about indicator

        There are not recent official reports on the organizational capabilities and resources of the CNE. The most recent such report was published in 2010. Based on the official information available on the activities and capabilities of the National Office of Funding, the CNE is able to receive and evaluate funding reports of parties and candidates. In 2010, the National Office of Founding hired 59 accountants to examine party reports. The office has also made known abuses and failures to report financial information, and has organized workshops for parties and candidates on financial reporting. Yet, the CNE has not made public declarations about any consequences and/or eventual sanctions for violations or abuses of campaign funding. The CNE simply informs mass media outlets about the number of political organizations that have presented their accounting books and/or campaign financing reports. Given the fact that there is not accurate and up-to-date information on current monitoring activities, interviewees conclude that the monitoring capabilities of the CNE are unknown.

        Sources from the National Committee of Political Participation and Funding claim that: a) the National Committee of Political Participation and Funding relies on the information provided by parties to the National Office of Funding, but the capability of independent verification of the information provided by parties is essentially nonexistent (according to Professor Luis Salamanca); b) campaign and party funding information is extremely classified and not even accessible to member and advisors of the National Committee of Political Participation (according to Professors Luis Salamanca and Jesus Castellanos); and c) from the reports provided by parties and candidates is not possible to infer violations of funding regulations without auditing financial information and such information has not been audited (according to Saul Bernal, Director of the National Office of Funding).

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) the authority has sufficient budget to monitor all incoming reports, and 2) it has sufficient staff to review all incoming reports.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) the authority has insufficient budget to monitor all incoming reports, or 2) its staff can only review half of all incoming reports.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) the authority can't fulfill most of its essential functions due to budget constraints, or 2) its staff only has the capacity to review 25% or less of all incoming reports.

        Sources

        Interview with Luis Manuel Salamanca. Political Science and Constitutional Law Professor. Expert on Electoral Politics and Electoral Law. Universidad Central de Venezuela. Former Director of the Institute for Political Studies (at the Law School of Central University of Venezuela). Author of books, chapters and essays on electoral campaign regulations. Former Alternate Member of the National Electoral Council and the Committee of Political Participation and Funding (from April 2006 to December 2009). Caracas: August 21, 2014.

        Interview with Carlos Subero. Journalist. Editor in Chief of Notiminuto.com (www.notiminuto.com) and former Research Journalist at El Universal, (hwww.eluniversal.com/) focused on research of political funding transparency. Caracas: August 22, 2014.

        Interview with Jesus Castellano. Advisor (Level II) at the National Committee of Political Participation and Funding of the National Electoral Council (Consejo Nacional Electoral, CNE) and Political Science Professor of Graduate Studies in Electoral Process and Systems, at the Universidad Central de Venezuela. Caracas: August 23, 2014.

        Interview with Saul Bernal. Director of the National Office of Funding. National Electoral Council. Caracas: August 26, 2014.

        República Bolivariana de Venezuela. Poder Electoral. Consejo Nacional Electoral. Memoria y Cuenta Poder Electoral. 2010. "Oficina Nacional de Financiamiento" (pp. 216-217).

        República Bolivariana de Venezuela. Poder Electoral. Consejo Nacional Electoral. Memoria y Cuenta Poder Electoral. 2010. "Oficina Nacional de Financiamiento" (pp. 216-217).

        "CNE dictó taller para garantizar efectiva información financiera durante campaña electoral." Sala de Prensa del CNE. May 18, 2012. http://www.cne.gov.ve/web/salaprensa/noticiadetallada.php?id=2073

        “14 organizaciones políticas han presentado sus libros contables ante el CNE (+ Audio).” YVKE Mundial Radio. Caracas: June 22, 2012. http://www.radiomundial.com.ve/article/14-organizaciones-pol%C3%ADticas-han-presentado-sus-libros-contables-ante-el-cne-audio

        "Súmate: CNE debe entregar cuentas de su gestión en 2013." Lapatilla.com Caracas. March 14, 2014.http://www.lapatilla.com/site/2014/03/14/sumate-cne-debe-entregar-cuentas-de-su-gestion-en-2013

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        45
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        0
        In practice, to what extent does the authority conduct investigations or audits when necessary?More about indicator

        The two most important parties, the PSUV (the majority party) and the MUD (the opposition coalition), have frequently demanded investigations of alleged abuses and felonies in campaigning and campaign finance. Despite the frequency of mutual accusations, the electoral authority has disregarded them. Vicente Diaz, Director of the National Committee of Political Participation and Funding at the CNE, has claimed that the CNE should conduct investigations on the alleged illegal use of public resources for campaigning, but the majority in the board has blocked the requests.

        The opposition coalition has accused the government of abusing public resources, whereas the ruling party has accused the opposition of receiving illegal money from foreign sources and even committing crimes (such as narco-financing). Despite the severity of the charges and allegations, the CNE has not publicly announced any investigation.

        So far, only two investigations have taken place. Both of them were made by the National Assembly and the General Prosecutor Office. Opposition legislators, Juan Carlos Caldera and Richard Mardo have been investigated. Mardo lost his legislative immunity and may be prosecuted. The CNE and the General Prosecutor have neither rejected nor accepted opposition's allegations against the ruling party candidates. Yet, these investigations were not made by the CNE. They were conducted by the General Prosecutor Office.

        Experts say that the CNE may conduct investigations on the financial accounts presented by political parties and candidates. They also say that the CNE has received the accounting books mandated by law from the most recent electoral periods. Yet, they add that no investigations have been publicly disclosed and there is no way to even indpendently verify their existence, much less their effectiveness. According to Saul Bernal, from the National Office of Funding, the board of the electoral authority has not ordered audits of financial information provided by parties and candidates.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where the authority conducted at least three investigations or audits during the most recent electoral campaign.

        A 50 score is earned where the authority conducted at least one investigation or audit during the most recent electoral campaign.

        A 0 score is earned where the authority didn't conduct any investigation or audit during the most recent electoral campaign.

        Sources

        Interview with Luis Manuel Salamanca. Political Science and Constitutional Law Professor. Expert on Electoral Politics and Electoral Law. Universidad Central de Venezuela. Former Director of the Institute for Political Studies (at the Law School of Central University of Venezuela). Author of books, chapters and essays on electoral campaign regulations. Former Alternate Member of the National Electoral Council and the Committee of Political Participation and Funding (from April 2006 to December 2009). Caracas: August 21, 2014.

        Interview with Carlos Subero. Journalist. Editor in Chief of Notiminuto.com (www.notiminuto.com) and former Research Journalist at El Universal, (hwww.eluniversal.com/) focused on research of political funding transparency. Caracas: August 22, 2014.

        Interview with Jesus Castellano. Advisor (Level II) at the National Committee of Political Participation and Funding of the National Electoral Council (Consejo Nacional Electoral, CNE) and Political Science Professor of Graduate Studies in Electoral Process and Systems, at the Universidad Central de Venezuela. Caracas: August 23, 2014.

        Interview with Saul Bernal. Director of the National Office of Funding. National Electoral Council. Caracas: August 26, 2014.

        "La oposición pide investigar la procedencia de los fondos de campaña de Maduro" Agencia EFE- Caracas: March 28, 2013. http://www.eldiario.es/politica/oposicion-investigar-procedencia-campana-Maduro0115838781.html

        INGRID BRAVO BALABÚ. Exhortan al CNE a investigar fondos del Comando Venezuela". El Nacional. Caracas: September 19, 2012. http://www.el-nacional.com/politica/Exhortan-CNE-investigar-Comando-Venezuela047395493.html

        "Maduro exigió investigar a fondo a Capriles." Notiamerica. Caracas: October 5, 2013. http://www.eldiario.es/politica/oposicion-investigar-procedencia-campana-Maduro0115838781.html

        República Bolivariana de Venezuela. Poder Electoral. Consejo Nacional Electoral. Memoria y Cuenta Poder Electoral. 2010. "Oficina Nacional de Financiamiento" (pp. 216-217).

        "CNE dictó taller para garantizar efectiva información financiera durante campaña electoral." Sala de Prensa del CNE. May 18, 2012. http://www.cne.gov.ve/web/salaprensa/noticiadetallada.php?id=2073

        “14 organizaciones políticas han presentado sus libros contables ante el CNE (+ Audio).” YVKE Mundial Radio. Caracas: June 22, 2012. http://www.radiomundial.com.ve/article/14-organizaciones-pol%C3%ADticas-han-presentado-sus-libros-contables-ante-el-cne-audio

        "Súmate: CNE debe entregar cuentas de su gestión en 2013." Lapatilla.com Caracas. March 14, 2014.http://www.lapatilla.com/site/2014/03/14/sumate-cne-debe-entregar-cuentas-de-su-gestion-en-2013

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        46
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        0
        In practice, to what extent does the authority publish the results of investigations or audits?More about indicator

        The CNE does not officially publish the results of investigations on parties' and candidates' finance reports. Experts have confirmed that such information is not available. Some of them (particularly Carlos Subero, research journalist) have publically requested information with no success.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where the authority publishes reports of all its investigations or audits a month or less after their conclusion.

        A 50 score is earned where reports are available to the public more than a month after the conclusion of the investigation or audit.

        A 0 score is earned where reports are not available to the public or they become available after six months or more after conclusion of the investigation or audit. A 0 score is also earned where only summaries of the reports are publicly available.

        Sources

        Interview with Luis Manuel Salamanca. Political Science and Constitutional Law Professor. Expert on Electoral Politics and Electoral Law. Universidad Central de Venezuela. Former Director of the Institute for Political Studies (at the Law School of Central University of Venezuela). Author of books, chapters and essays on electoral campaign regulations. Former Alternate Member of the National Electoral Council and the Committee of Political Participation and Funding (from April 2006 to December 2009). Caracas: August 21, 2014.

        Interview with Carlos Subero. Journalist. Editor in Chief of Notiminuto.com (www.notiminuto.com) and former Research Journalist at El Universal, (hwww.eluniversal.com/) focused on research of political funding transparency. Caracas: August 22, 2014.

        Interview with Jesus Castellano. Advisor (Level II) at the National Committee of Political Participation and Funding of the National Electoral Council (Consejo Nacional Electoral, CNE) and Political Science Professor of Graduate Studies in Electoral Process and Systems, at the Universidad Central de Venezuela. Caracas: August 23, 2014.

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      Enforcement Capabilities
      More about category
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        47
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        MODERATE
        In law, there are sanctions in response to political finance violations.More about indicator

        The General Regulations of the Fundamental Law of Electoral Processes establishes mandatory mechanisms of control and financial accountability for parties, organizations and candidates (articles 270-280). Yet, there are few stipulated sanctions or penalties for non-compliance with the norms, and some aspects of the law, including sanctions for failing to submit the required financial reports, are undefined.

        The rules impose sanctions only for a couple of specific violations of the funding rules. Article 236 establishes fines (500 “tributary units” or UT, which equals about 12,700 US $) to parties, organizations or candidates who fail to disclose the identity of individuals or firms that contribute to mass media propaganda. Secondly, the rules ban indirect private funding of campaigns by broadcasting free electoral propaganda for or against a candidate (article 211) and impose a penalty (from 5,000 to 7,000 UT, which equals about 12,700 to 17,780 US $ to mass media companies that violate the rule (article 240).

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) the law clearly defines violations of political finance laws, and 2) there are clearly defined sanctions for specific violations.

        A MODERATE score is earned where violations are clearly defined but sanctions for specific violations are not.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        General Regulations of the Fundamental Law of Electoral Processes. National Electoral Council. Decision Number 130118-0005. Articles 236, 240, 270-280; Caracas, January 1, 2013. http://www.cne.gob.ve/web/normativaelectoral/reglamentos/ReglamentoGeneral_LOPRE.pdf

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        48
        Score
        YES
        In law, the oversight authority has the power to impose sanctions.More about indicator

        Paragraph number 3 of Article 293 of the Constitution establishes that, among the powers of the CNE, is the authority “to issue binding directives in the field of political and electoral advertising and financing, and impose penalties when such directives are not abided by.”

        However, the eventual sanctions for specific violations of the rules of campaign financing are not defined in the Law of Electoral Processes. Articles 229 to 233 of the Fundamental Law of Electoral Processes define the sanctions for several types of "illicit actions". None of these actions refers specifically to violations of financing rules, except, indirectly, paragraph 2 of Article 230, which establishes a sanction of 15 to 50 tax units or proportional arrest for those who "provide the National Electoral Council with false data or information". Violations of financing regulations could eventually be sanctioned under the umbrella of Article 233, which states that "Any other violation of the provisions contained in this Act shall be punished by a fine of five hundred tax units (500 UT) to seven hundred tax units (700 UT) or proportional arrest..."

        Nonetheless, in law, the CNE has the power to impose sanctions for violations of the rules of campaigning and for the failure to report the identity of campaigns treasurers. In doing so, the electoral authority must follow the administrative procedure of sanctioning defined by the General Regulations of the Fundamental Law of Electoral Processes (articles 281-288). This regulation establishes that in the case of financing crimes, the CNE has the power to, independently, report prosecutable wrongdoing and offenses to General Prosecutor Office or the General Comptroller Oficce, when necessary (article 288); however, it does not specify the eventual sanctions the CNE itself may impose if it finds that the rules of financing have been violated.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) the oversight authority has the power to impose sanctions, and 2) it can directly prosecute violators before the courts or is independent to send cases to public prosecution.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the oversight authority has the power to impose sanctions, but it can't directly prosecute violators before the courts or is not independent to send cases to public prosecution.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic Venezuela. Chapter IV. Political Rights and Popular Referendum. First Section: Political Rights, article Chapter V: Electoral Power; article 293.3. Caracas, 1999. http://www.tsj.gov.ve/legislación/constitucion1999.htm English translation available from: http://www.venezuelaemb.or.kr/english/ConstitutionoftheBolivarianingles.pdf

        Fundamental Law of Electoral Processes. National Electoral Council. Articles 229-233. 2009. http://www.cne.gob.ve/web/normativaelectoral/leyorganicaprocesoselectorales/indice.php

        General Regulations of the Fundamental Law of Electoral Processes. National Electoral Council. Decision Number 130118-0005. Article 281-288; Caracas, January 1, 2013. http://www.cne.gob.ve/web/normativaelectoral/reglamentos/ReglamentoGeneral_LOPRE.pdf

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        In practice, to what extent do offenders comply with sanctions imposed?More about indicator

        The CNE has not imposed sanctions against any party, candidate or treasurer, despite frequent denunciations of the illegal funding of campaigns.

        The CNE has not publicly addressed cases of violation of political finance regulations. No politician has been sanctioned by the CNE for violating finance rules, though it has warned the opposition presidential candidate several times for various alleged violations. For example, for wearing a baseball cap that resembled the country’s flag.

        The authority also warned the opposition electoral command, a private TV channel (Globovision), some newspapers and the state owned TV for exceeding air-time and space regulations, but again failed to impose any concrete sanctions. On the other hand, Vicente Diaz, the only non-pro-government member of the CNE, has remarked on the lack of willingness of the electoral authority to impose sanctions on the Venezuelan president. Thus, the CNE has made a toothless enforcement of campaign finance regulations.

        According to Saul Bernal, Director of the National Office of Funding of the National Electoral Council, the electoral law does not impose sanctions against parties or individuals who violate funding provisions. Although this is true, it is also true that, as has been show in question 48, the Council has general sanctioning powers that could be used in these cases, but has chosen not to apply them.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) offenders comply with the sanctions imposed without exception, and 2) they are not repeat offenders.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) offenders usually comply with the sanctions imposed but exceptions exist, or 2) most are not repeat offenders but some exceptions exist.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) offenders rarely comply with the sanctions imposed, or 2) most are repeat offenders.

        Sources

        Interview with Luis Manuel Salamanca. Political Science and Constitutional Law Professor. Expert on Electoral Politics and Electoral Law. Universidad Central de Venezuela. Former Director of the Institute for Political Studies (at the Law School of Central University of Venezuela). Author of books, chapters and essays on electoral campaign regulations. Former Alternate Member of the National Electoral Council and the Committee of Political Participation and Funding (from April 2006 to December 2009). Caracas: August 21, 2014.

        Interview with Carlos Subero. Journalist. Editor in Chief of Notiminuto.com (www.notiminuto.com) and former Research Journalist at El Universal, (hwww.eluniversal.com/) focused on research of political funding transparency. Caracas: August 22, 2014.

        Interview with Saul Bernal. Director of the National Office of Funding. National Electoral Council. Caracas: August 26, 2014.

        “CNE aprobó averiguaciones administrativas por violación a normativa electoral.” Consejo Nacional Electoral. Sala de Prensa. Caracas: April 5, 2013. http://www.cne.gob.ve/web/salaprensa/noticiadetallada.php?id=3142

        “Advierte a medios impresos por responsabilidad en desacato. CNE retira avisos que contravienen medida cautelar” Caracas: March 31, 2013impuestahttp://www.cne.gob.ve/web/salaprensa/noticiadetallada.php?id=3139

        Vicente Díaz: “En el CNE no hay disposición para sancionar al Presidente” Noticias24.com. Caracas: July 15, 2012. http://www.noticias24.com/venezuela/noticia/116704/Vicente-diaz-en-el-cne-no-hay-disposicion-para-sancionar-al-presidente/

        "Por octava ocasión rectores rechazaron investigar a Chávez". El Universal.com, April 27, 2012. http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/120427/por-octava-ocasion-rectores-rechazaron-investigar-a-chavez

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        50
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        Open Question: How strong is enforcement, and what impedes more effective enforcement?More about indicator

        The enforcement capabilities of the CNE are limited and politically biased. Rules are more likely to be enforced when abused by the opposition candidate. A showcase of the biased pattern of behavior is the repeated refusal (on the part of the CNE) to enforce the rules on not campaigning before officially starting up the campaign. The CNE sets up a mandatory schedule for campaigning. Political propaganda is allowed only during a few months before the Election Day. Nonetheless, Presidents Chavez and Maduro, and in the last election, also opposition candidate Henrique Capriles, have started their campaigns weeks before the official starting date. This has been called “campaigning ahead of schedule.” The CNE refused to limit the President’s abuses.

        The ruling party usually makes use of public buildings and offices to promote candidates and party symbols. Despite multiple documented complaints, the electoral authority has failed to enforce the law in these specific cases. The opposition has denounced the use of public TV networks and radio to broadcast allegedly defamatory information. The electoral authority announced investigations but they did not lead to conclusive results. On the contrary, in 2012, the CNE warned the opposition presidential candidate, parties and coalition for abusing air-time in TV and space limits in print media, but imposed no real sanctions.

        According to experts, one of the most important areas of political finance reform in Venezuela is the implementation of a system of public funding of electoral campaigns. As has been said in some of the previous questions, the constitutional framework bans direct public funding of political parties. Yet, without a complex process of constitutional amendment the National Assembly can pass a law of indirect public funding of campaigns. This was clearly stated by a ruling of the Supreme Tribunal of 2009. This simple reform would make the system of political finance much more transparent and equitable. Besides the implementation of a system of indirect public funding, the CNE requires institutional reinforcement in practice. Indeed, the Venezuelan legal framework provides some rules that can help to improve political financial transparency, but the CNE does not enforce the law properly and impartially.

        A crucial issue is the lack of real independence of top electoral officials. The constitutional procedure to appoint them is aimed at guaranteeing autonomous decision-making. Yet, the constitutional mechanisms have been circumvented by the majority in the National Assembly and the lack of independence of the lack of independence of the Supreme Court. The majority party in the national legislature has neglected to proceed to appoint three out of five members of the CNE, whose terms ended in 2013. The same majority party appointed two of its former activists as members of the CNE, in violation of legal provisions.

        The National Assembly has not been checked and balanced by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice. Additionally, the electoral law and regulations are toothless regarding legally defined sanctions/punishment for violations of funding provisions. Consequently, in order to improve transparency in the Venezuelan system of political finance, public funding of campaigns, better defined sanction provisions and more independence of the CNE are required.

        Some actors from civil society (including, among others, Súmate, Ojo Electoral, Ciudadanía Activa, Queremos Elegir) have been monitoring elections in recent years, and have reached a consensus with representatives of certain opposition parties around the proposal of a new Law of Electoral Processes. Although the present balance of power in the National Assembly precludes the discussion of this proposal, its content reflects the opinions and proposals of some of the most important NGOs working on electoral issues, and those of several opposition parties. On the subject of financing of parties and campaigns, the proposal recommends: sanctioning a specific law regulating the funding of electoral campaigns, different from the Law of Electoral Processes; reassessing the concept of mixed financing, practiced by most countries in the continent; including specific guidelines about which actors can access these types of financing; publishing the balances of all political parties by the CNE to allow citizen control of their finances; consider establishing limits on campaign expenditures.

        Another coalition of NGOs, Proacceso, which includes, among others, Transparencia Venezuela and the National Journalist's Guild, proposed in 2011 a law on transparency and access to public information. Concerning electoral matters, the proposal suggests that all parties and political organizations publish their annual reports on the Web, including a thorough report on the use of funds. Additionally, the National Electoral Council should publish on its website the amounts received and spent in each campaign and the origin of resources and their implementation, within sixty days from the date of receipt of campaign spending reports submitted by the directors of the various election campaigns, political parties or candidates.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please provide a general explanation of the effectiveness of enforcement, describing: 1) any conditions that may prevent effective enforcement, and 2) explain what are the most urgent areas of reform in the country's political finance system.

        Sources

        Interview with Luis Manuel Salamanca. Political Science and Constitutional Law Professor. Expert on Electoral Politics and Electoral Law. Universidad Central de Venezuela. Former Director of the Institute for Political Studies (at the Law School of Central University of Venezuela). Author of books, chapters and essays on electoral campaign regulations. Former Alternate Member of the National Electoral Council and the Committee of Political Participation and Funding (from April 2006 to December 2009). Caracas: August 21, 2014.

        Interview with Saul Bernal. Director of the National Office of Funding. National Electoral Council. Caracas: August 26, 2014.

        Interview with Carlos Subero. Journalist. Editor in Chief of Notiminuto.com (www.notiminuto.com) and former Research Journalist at El Universal, (hwww.eluniversal.com/) focused on research of political funding transparency. Caracas: August 22, 2014.

        Eugenio Martínez. “En siete ocasiones el CNE rechazó investigar a Chávez.” El Universal. October 6, 2012. http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/111006/en-siete-ocasiones-el-cne-rechazo-investigar-a-chavez

        “Evaluarán aparición de nueva pieza publicitaria con símbolos patrios. CNE advierte que comando de campaña opositor se niega a acatar normativa.” El Correo del Orinoco. Caracas: August 2, 2012. http://www.correodelorinoco.gob.ve/politica/cne-advierte-que-comando-campana-opositor-se-niega-a-acatar-normativa/

        Conversations with Francisco Jose Virtuoso, SJ. Political Scientist. Expert on Party Funding and Electoral Campaign Regulations. Author of articles on electoral campaign funding in Venezuela. Current President of the Catholic University Andres Bello. Caracas: October, 2012

        Proyecto de Ley de Procesos Electorales. Súmate - 12 de junio de 2009. Dashiell López. [Slide presentation] http://www.sumate.org/Especiales/ProyectoLeyElectoral/20090612PresentacionDashiell_Lopez.pdf

        Proacceso. Proyecto De Ley Orgánica de Transparencia y Accesso a la Información Pública. 2011. http://www.proacceso.org.ve/getattachment/0a847be8-aa6b-4895-827f-5ad1ef9c3386/Proyecto-(3).aspx

Venezuela is a presidentialist system, with a strong executive, a unicameral legislature and a directly elected President. The President serves as the head of government, and is elected every six years. The most recent Presidential elections were held in 2013 after the death of Hugo Chavez, who had been elected in 2012. Nicolas Maduro of the PSUV, a longtime Chavez deputy, won the 2013 election amid much controversy. Maduro's official tally was 50.61%, and Capriles' was 49.12 %; the difference amounted to 223,599 votes in a total of 15.057.480 votes. The candidates were supported by two broad coalitions: Maduro represented the "Great Patriotic Pole", an alliance of president Chávez's party, the PSUV, and a variety of minor parties and social organizations, and Capriles headed the "Board of Democratic Unity" (MUD, for its Spanish name), a broad alliance of parties ranging ideologically from liberals to marxists but predominantly social democratic. The campaign and the elections themselves were marred by accusations of abuse of power by the government, inequity in media access by the candidates, and partialization of the electoral authority and the judiciary.

There are, in total, 165 representatives in the legislature. 110 of them are elected by a plurality vote in single member or multiple member districts, while 52 are elected in a closed list proportional representative system, and three are elected in single member indigenous constituencies.The most recent legislative election took place in 2010, and the principal actors were the two coalitions already described. Although the results were very close, (48.2% for the government and 47.2% for the MUD) the electoral system (which over-represents majorities) and the composition of the electoral districts resulted in 58.18% of the seats for the pro-government camp and only 38.78% for the MUD. A third, minority actor, the PPT, whose stand was to avoid the poles and be neutral among them, obtained 3.1% of the vote and 1.21% of the seats.

Mainstream parties finance the campaigns of their candidates, though in very exceptional cases, independent candidates may manage their own campaign funds. In recent presidential campaigns, the alliances have set up central commands concentrating the strategic and tactical operations, as well as the procure of funds. Usually, the presidential candidates themselves are kept at a certain distance from the financial aspects of the campaign.