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European Union sends election observers to Venezuela

More than 100 observers from the European Union are fanning out over 17 of Venezuela's 23 states to observe the South American nation's upcoming presidential election, the mission's leader said Tuesday.

Monica Frassoni said at a news conference that Venezuela's National Elections Council had granted the delegation permission to oversee balloting on Dec. 3 as well as to conduct audits of results immediately following the vote.

''They have access to all the stages of the electoral process,'' Frassoni said.

The EU delegation will be joined by observers from the Organization of American States and the Atlanta-based Carter Center. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who founded the Carter Center, is not expected to travel to Venezuela for the election.

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