Pedro Nikken of Ojo Electoral, a pluralist civil society association seeking to promote citizen participation and transparent elections, gave his remarks on the December 2, 2007 constitutional referendum in Venezuela and its implications for President Hugo Chávez. Bernardo Álvarez Herrera, Venezuelan Ambassador to the United States, provided additional comments at a WOLA sponsored seminar on January 14, 2008.
Last December, Venezuelans handed President Hugo Chávez his first defeat at the polls since he won office nine years ago, voting down Chávez's proposed constitutional reforms by a narrow margin. Pedro Nikken of Ojo Electoral gave his remarks on the December 2, 2007 constitutional referendum in Venezuela and its implications for Preseident Hugo Chávez and Bernardo Álvarez Herrera, Venezuelan Ambassador to the United States, provided additional comments. Please click here to read Pedro Nikken's remarks on the constitutional reform voting process and results, and their significance for Venezuelan democracy.
Pedro Nikken is one of five directors of Ojo Electoral, an explicitly pluralist civil society association seeking to promote citizen participation and transparent elections worthy of public confidence in Venezuela. On December 2nd, Ojo Electoral’s activities involved direct observation of a sample of voting tables at which more than 100,000 people cast their votes.
In addition to his role with Ojo Electoral, Mr. Nikken serves as Permanent Advisor of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights and as a commissioner with the International Commission of Jurists. He has also served as Dean of the law school at the Universidad Central de Venezuela; as judge and President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights; as legal advisor to the UN Secretary General during peace negotiations in El Salvador; and as the UN special envoy to Burundi.
Bernardo Álvarez Herrera has served as Venezuela’s ambassador to the United States since 2003. Prior to his post in Washington, Ambassador Álvarez served as Director-General of Hydrocarbons (1999-2000) and Vice Minister of Hydrocarbons (2000-2003) in Venezuela’s Ministry of Energy and Mines. He is also a professor in the School of Political and Administrative Studies at the Universidad Central de Venezuela and served as a Deputy to Venezuela’s National Congress (1994-1999).