Photo: Former President Jimmy Carter
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said he had a “pleasant conversation” on the phone with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and that he thanked him for describing the Andean nation’s electoral process as “the best in the world.”
Chavez said that the conversation, requested by the Carter Center, lasted between 30 and 40 minutes and that they analyzed “different topics, personal matters, remembrances” and Venezuela’s Oct. 7 general elections.
“He said one true thing, because he had seen it for himself, that the Venezuelan electoral system is, well, we say it is one of the best in the world, he said the best in the world,” Chavez recalled, adding that he thanked Carter “in the name of all Venezuela.”
Venezuela uses touch-screen voting, but with a feature that stores votes both electronically and in paper ballots, making it easier to conduct a review or recount.
On Aug. 20 the Carter Center, founded by the former U.S. president, declined an invitation from the National Electoral Council of Venezuela to “accompany” the presidential elections of Oct. 7.
“The concept of accompaniment differs from observation in that the purpose of accompaniment is to invite foreign individuals to witness the day of the election with a largely symbolic political presence, while the purpose of observation is to invite international organizations to comprehensively assess an electoral process,” the center said in a statement.
Venezuelans will elect their president for the 2013-2019 period from a group of five candidates headed by Chavez and main challenger Henrique Capriles.