Venezuelans will head to the polls for a second time this year. This time to elect their municipal representatives.
Venezuela enters the last day of electoral campaigns Thursday ahead of Venezuela’s municipal elections. On Dec. 9, Venezuelans will head to the polls to elect over 4,000 municipal representatives across the country.
Almost 21 million people are enabled to vote in Sunday’s election, including 230,000 residents. There are over 13,000 candidates from 21 national political parties, 11 regional parties, five national Indigenous organizations, and 13 regional Indigenous organizations have registered candidates. For city council elections, candidate registrations had to observe gender parity rules.
The most relevant right-wing opposition parties have decided to abstain once again, citing distrust in the electoral body and absence of equal conditions for political participation. However, individual members of parties like the Democratic Action and First Justice (Primero Justicia) have decided to participate in the elections, challenging the national leadership.
Some governments in Latin America have expressed support to the abstentionist strategy that relies on economic sanctions breaking the government or a possible military intervention against Venezuela. For critics of Venezuela’s right-wing opposition, their decision to reject electoral participation paves the way for more government victories, this time in the local level.
On Wednesday, the head of Venezuela’s National Electoral Council Sandra Oblitas announced all the electoral material had been delivered ahead of Sunday’s municipal elections. The electoral body has run nine of the 15 audits, including the verification of voters' registration, voting machines, and software.
Like the May presidential elections, Venezuela expects an international accompaniment delegation and hundreds of national observers. In total, they expect 600 people will participate as observers.
Currently, government-affiliated movements have power over 255 of Venezuela’s 335 city councils while opposition parties hold at least 80 of them.