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For the first time since 2018, Venezuelan opposition parties abandoned electoral abstention and registered over 67,000 candidates for subnational posts.
On Sunday, November 21, Venezuelans will celebrate the largest subnational election held in the last two decades. Around 70,000 candidates nominated by 80 political organizations will compete for 23 governorships, 335 town halls, 253 sits in state legislatures, and 2,471 city councils.
In order to organize an electoral process of this magnitude, the Bolivarian authorities have worked hard for months to guarantee that the will of over 21 million Venezuelans can be exercised according to the law. Below are the main milestones on the road to these subnational elections.
The New Electoral Council: a plural political formula
On May 4, the Venezuelan parliament appointed a new National Electoral Council (CNE) to represent political organizations more equitably. Former University Education Minister Pedro Calzadilla was elected the CNE President. Meanwhile, opposition politician Enrique Marquez, Socialist League militant Alexis Corredor, former pro-government lawmaker Tania D'Amelio, and the Bureau of Democratic Unity opposition party technical advisor Roberto Picon were appointed as rectors.
"We recognize that there must be an internal balance in the CNE so that no political force annihilates another. We must put confrontation policies behind us and seek understanding for the good of our people. Achieving this goal requires a political maturity for which we are ready," Marquez stated.
Alex Saab denies being involved with the US government before it began the persecution against him. The accusation made by the Department of Justice is a maneuver to divide support for Saab in Venezuela, said his defense team. pic.twitter.com/j69HlMwtR2
The ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) selected its candidates for the upcoming elections through primary elections held on August 8. This process was not restricted to party members so that any citizen registered in the Venezuelan Electoral Register could participate in it.
About 100,000 PSUV militants registered for these elections, for which their party enables 5,108 voting centers nationwide. The initiative proved to be a success since it was estimated that over 3,5 million people participated in the process.
Mexico-hosted dialogue process
On Aug. 12, the Bolivarian government and the opposition began dialoguing in Mexico to reach agreements that favor this Latin American country and respect its sovereignty. In the first round of negotiations, both sides signed an understanding memorandum, in which they ratified the willingness to ensure that all candidates for subnational posts have equal conditions for developing their political campaigns and that the electoral process is conducted peacefully and democratically.
To achieve this, the CNE currently monitors the development of the electoral campaign so that the media maintains an informational balance and spaces for expression for all alliance candidates. In addition, the Bolivarian National Armed Force (FANB) members will permanently guard the polling stations until the elections conclude.
“We are convinced that these elections will leave great lessons of stability and unity for Venezuela," President Nicolas Maduro stated and urged all candidates to continue competing for power in a democratic manner.