The Venezuelan opposition confirmed on Tuesday that it will participate in regional elections to be held on November 21 and that it will join a single list. The parties that oppose the government of Nicolás Maduro deliberated the strategy up to the limit of registration of candidates for 23 governors and 335 mayors, as well as councilors and deputies. According to a statement read at the headquarters in Caracas of the Um Novo Tempo party, together with representatives of all parties in the opposition coalition, the end of the electoral boycott has been “a difficult process of internal deliberation that has included the participation of local leaders , regional and national“. “We are moved by the difficult situation that our country is going through, with the sense of urgency in finding permanent solutions to our sufferings and with the purpose of strengthening unity”, says the text.
The willingness of different leaders to participate in the elections called by the Government was a known fact. The dilemma was participation in a single bloc, which suggests a better scenario for the opposition in the elections. At the press conference, which was postponed several times, they presented their arguments. “We know that these elections will not be fair or conventional. The dictatorship has imposed serious obstacles that put the Venezuelan people’s expression of change at risk,” the statement said. “We understand that they will be a useful battleground for strengthening citizenship and promoting the real solution to the serious crisis in our country: free presidential and legislative elections. Let’s organize, mobilize and strengthen ourselves in the unity at the service of the democratic reinstitutionalization of Venezuela.”
Veteran Henri Ramos Allup, secretary general of Democratic Action took the voice and indicated that they will participate together in the ballot with the Bureau of Democratic Unity, which was again authorized by the Government in the context of political negotiations started this year. Ramos Allup insisted on denouncing that there are still political parties that continue to be judicially interdicted and with their leaderships impeded, like yours. Although the opposition is still defining the names of the candidates, the leader assured that local leaders and civil society leaders, not just the parties, were chosen. About the change in strategy, Ramos Allup highlighted: “If at a certain moment the national convenience is to participate, you participate. Politics has no dogmas, but it is due to the interpretation of reality at a given moment“.
The Venezuelan opposition leaves behind the abstentionism with which it has denounced the lack of transparency in Venezuela’s elections since 2017. It does so with a new electoral arbitrator, who for the first time incorporates two rectors not allied with Chavismo, and in the midst of a table for dialogue installed in Mexico that created better conditions for participation.
The most obvious changes, for now, are the increased scrutiny in the pre-audits of the electoral system and the electoral register and —most importantly— the lifting of the veto on the Democratic Unity Bureau’s ballot. The opposition parties that won the 2015 legislative elections converge there. The government judicially blocked the platform in 2018, to calm competition in the presidential elections in which Nicolás Maduro was re-elected.
Chavismo promised to review now some political disqualifications and eliminate the figure of “protectors”, which the government imposed on the positions conquered by the opposition. The possible follow-up of a European Union mission during the electoral event is also to be defined.
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Previously, Freddy Guevara, leader of the Popular Will, gave his first press conference after spending a month in detention at the headquarters of the Venezuelan intelligence service. Guevara did not advance the Bureau’s decision, but said that it would be the one that “would generate the largest unit and would be the most useful for the fight”.
The politician defended the negotiations in Mexico, which this week will have a new round of meetings between the delegations. “I left more convinced that I will dedicate myself to doing everything in my power to find a negotiated solution through the process in Mexico,” he said.
Guevara acknowledged that Maduro’s strategy of military and political bankruptcy, which he opted for in early 2019 and 2020, did not bear fruit. “The People’s Will assumes that many of the premises we had before, with which we sought a total and immediate displacement of the system, the military collapse, are not viable. Today we seek to pressure, but also to negotiate. This does not mean giving in to our principles.” He added that the political transition that the opposition so longs for will be, therefore, long-term and will involve concessions from all parties, but that it should end “the political confrontation” that has prevailed in the country in recent years. 20 years.
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