Andhra Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer Bhanwar Lal, who represented India in overseeing the first round of elections in Venezuela on February 12 as an observer at the instance of the UNO, expressed satisfaction that this round went well.
He was among a team of observers from 17 countries, including Korea, the US, Brazil and Mexico, to ensure a free and fair elections after doubts were raised from various quarters over the integrity of the election process in that country. International media carried reports that the US wanted to unseat Venezuela president Hugo Chavez and that it had brought all the opposition parties together to defeat him. The final round would take place in October when the results would be announced. Venezuela has a population of 3 crore with 1.7 crore out of them being voters. Mr. Bhanwar Lal, who returned here after 10-day trip to Venezuela, said like in the case of observers from other countries, he had been provided translators during his visit to polling stations. “I did the job in Venezuela with utmost care,” he said. He suffered from insomnia there due to time difference between India and Venezuala.
Referring to by-polls in the State, the CEO told The Hindu here on Monday, candidates should compulsorily indicate in their affidavits the details of their dues to the Government and its agencies. The EC has introduced a new column to get these details by enlarging the format of the affidavit to provide comprehensive information about the candidate to the public. These affidavits would be displayed on www.ceoandhra.nic.in and the candidate stood to be disqualified if the EC received credible information which was at variance with the information furnished in the document.