Venezuela is waiting for the last details to know the candidates for the November 21 regional elections. The deadline for candidacy registration was August 29, but it was extended to September 4 by the National Electoral Council (CNE), in response to a request from opponents.
The novelty of this electoral process is that the far-right opposition decided to participate using the electoral legend of the Bureau of Democratic Unity (MUD), an alliance that brought together 33 opposition organizations and won the 2015 legislative elections. After six years of boycotting the electoral processes , now the opposition seeks to repeat the success, but without so much unity.
Some moderate sectors criticize the G4, a group of the four biggest opposition parties (Popular Will, Democratic Action, First Justice and Um Novo Tempo) and accuse it of “hijacking” the unit’s legend without ample dialogue.
After Press conference, last Tuesday (31), the Platform of Unity issued a statement reiterating that the decision to participate in the elections follows the National Dialogue Table.
“We assume the commitment to redouble our efforts to motivate the people of Venezuela to be part of this episode of struggle, and to ensure that on November 22 we have been able to advance along the path that will lead us to solve the serious crisis in Venezuela: a national agreement and presidential and free parliamentary elections,” they said in a statement.
Already the chavismo registered all its candidacies and will be split again in two platforms. The Great Patriotic Pole (GPP), led by the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), which has nominated more than 3,000 candidates. And the Popular Revolutionary Alternative (APR), which enrolled candidates for mayor and to run for the 23-state government.
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In the capital, the right-wing opposition announced nine candidacies. While the GPP chose in the primary elections the former Minister of Interior, Justice and Peace, Carmen Melendez. And the APR will compete with Eduardo Samán, former minister of Commerce during the administration of Hugo Chávez.
Although the opposition’s decision was celebrated by the European Union and US ambassador James Story, former deputy Juan Guaidó reiterated that there are still no conditions for free elections to be held. He also pointed out that this would be a priority issue in the negotiations between the government and the opposition starting this weekend in Mexico City.
On the other hand, Henrique Capriles, who was governor of Miranda state, the most populous in the country, and an opposing candidate against former president Chávez, reiterated the importance of participating in the process.
“We have to break the inertia, get out of apathy and organize ourselves. The November 21 elections are not the objective, but an important part of the path to change that we have been seeking for years in our country”, affirmed.
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President Nicolás Maduro, on the other hand, met with his group of representatives before they left for Mexico and stated that it is a priority “to do everything so that the opposition does not abandon the dialogue table.”
In two months, Venezuelans must choose 23 governors, 335 mayors, 253 state deputies and 2,471 councilors. This will be the 26th electoral process in almost 22 years of Chavismo. It will also be the last elections before the 2024 presidencies.
Edition: Vinícius Segalla