Supreme Court to hear case for Venezuelan recount

WASHINGTON (Rooters agency) – The United States Supreme Court today agreed to hear arguments as to whether it should order a recount of votes in the recent Venezuelan presidential election.

The request for a hearing was brought by the US embassy in Caracas, which claimed there was “a substantial possibility” that the result announced by Venezuela’s National Election Commission was “inappropriate, unsuitable, and contrary to overriding US national interests.”

The embassy also cited several more detailed complaints, including:

* Both the campaign and the election itself were conducted in Spanish, “making it difficult for embassy personnel to monitor the election process.”

* The candidate proclaimed the winner by the NEC “had an unfair advantage, namely incumbency.” Prior to the opening of the campaign, he should have been required to resign, “as is the norm for elections in nearly every democratic country.”

* Shortly before the election, the Venezuelan government devalued the currency, the bolivar. “This should have been done several months earlier, so that dollars supplied to the opposition would have gone much further.”

* Before the election, several US embassy officials were expelled from the country for allegedly interfering in Venezuelan politics. “Not only were these charges untrue,” said the embassy complaint, “but the absence of these officials undermined our support for democracy at a crucial time.”

After filing the complaint, Jason Blowhard, the lead lawyer for the embassy, said he is confident of a favorable ruling when the case is heard next month, even though it would establish something of a new precedent. “As you may know, the Court in the past has been a bit leery about recounts, or counting votes at all. But we think that in this case it will see the good sense in our proposal, which is that the recount be conducted by Florida election officials.”

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