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Declaration by the Presidency, on behalf of the European Union, on the CNE announcement of 2 March 2004 regarding the process of verification of signatures in Venezuela

Date: 4 Mar 2004
Policy Area: General Affairs and External Relations
Content Type: CFSP (Common Foreign and Security Policy) statements
The European Union has taken good note of the publication on 2 March 2004 by the National Electoral Council (CNE) of the preliminary official results of the process of verification of signatures and of the CNE's decision to organise an appeals process in relation to those signatures which were provisionally rejected, in the framework of the petition for a Recall Referendum concerning the mandate of the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

The European Union recalls the contents of its previous declaration, dated 23 February, 2004, and reiterates its full support for the important statement made by the OAS and Carter Center Missions to Venezuela in their joint declaration of 2 March, 2004.

The European Union shares the concern of the OAS with regard to the application by the CNE of specific verification criteria and their possible impact on the outcome of the process. No effort should be spared, however, to enable the country to find a constitutional, democratic, peaceful and electoral solution to its crisis. The European Union encourages all parties involved to negotiate constructively towards feasible, fair and transparent formulas for an appeals process which will respect the constitutional rights, the sovereign will and the good faith of Venezuelan citizens.

The European Union deeply regrets the development of a climate of violence, which has led to human casualties, and calls on all parties to continue to strive for the implementation of the agreement of 29 May 2003 in a climate of mutual respect, tolerance and restraint, and to fully abide by the Declaration against Violence and for Peace and Democracy of 18 February 2003, within the framework of the rule of law and democratic principles.

The Acceding Countries Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia align themselves with this declaration.