On December 6, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela will celebrate the first parliamentary elections since the National Assembly, which holds legislative power, was declared "in contempt" in 2016 after the opposition majority body repeatedly violated the constitutional order.
LATAM Electoral Experts Certifies Venezuela's Voting System
According to Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, over 300 international observers are registered to participate in the elections due to mark a turning point in the country's recent history.
The new parliament could restore political stability, security, and progress to the nation by legislating in favor of its sovereignty. It could end the economic and political crisis following the "regime change" politics promoted by the U.S. It all depends on which political forces the more than 20 million people included in the electoral roll support.
On December 7, 2015, the Venezuelan people elected the National Assembly for the period 2016-2021. The opposition, which had announced that it was going to push to shorten the mandate of President Nicolás Maduro, won the majority but also committed fraud to reach the required seats.
"#Data | National Assembly2020 elections have 16 technical audits, which are conducted before, during, and after the elections. Also, the Strategic Biosafety Plan was incorporated as an additional guarantee to protect health."
Ahead of the elections, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and other organizations had warned about irregularities in the process. Evidence presented to the Supreme Court demonstrated that the Secretary of the Interior for Amazonas state, Victoria Franchi Caballero, and an "anonymous person," offered between 2,000 and 5,000 bolivars to the citizens of the region "to vote for the table of the Democratic Unity (MUD) or to help divert the vote of people who for physical reasons or other impediments would vote in an assisted manner."
Following the accusation, the Supreme Court condemned the Amazonas state deputies' swearing-in. Still, the National Assembly's Board of Directors continued to recognize them as lawmakers despite the fraud. On July 28, 2016, the Supreme Court declared the National Assembly "in contempt" over constitutional order violation.
"Everything is ready for the Venezuelan people to participate in the great democratic celebration of Dec. 6, with the dispatch of the last electoral cotillion from Warehouse 1 of the National Office of Electoral Operations of the @ve_cne located in Guarenas, Miranda State."
Despite the decree by the Supreme Court, the National Assembly continued legislating unconstitutional bills. At the same time, its opposition leaders plotted against the government, including public statements from its then-president Julio Borges assuring that "the U.S. could prohibit commercial or political exchange with Venezuela, imposing the Inter-American Democratic Charter of the OAS, which would mean the complete isolation of Venezuela: a country under quarantine."
As the opposition lawmakers relied on the U.S. President Donald Trump to end the Bolivarian revolution, they also promoted the blockade that has kept the Venezuelan people in the middle of an economic crisis and scarcity. According to the U.S. Center for Economic and Policy Research, the unilateral sanctions against the South American nation under Trump's administration has cost at least 40.000 deaths.
Nonetheless, the National Assembly's most prominent unconstitutional act was to vote on an agreement for President Nicolás Maduro Moros to leave office in January 2017. The then President of the parliament, Juan Guaidó, declared himself President of the country.
With the unconstitutionality crisis at a peak and opposition figures asking for the European Union and the United States' support to promote political instability in Venezuela, the Supreme Court assumed the National Assembly's functions on March 29, 2017.
Later, on August 4, the Supreme Court granted powers to The National Constituent Assembly, which was installed to write a new constitution and temporarily legislate during this period. The National Constituent Assembly will operate until December 30, 2020.
International campaigns against the government have marked the three subsequent years while the country tries to survive the blockade, the sanctions, and the COVID-19 pandemic amid coup attempts.
On July 1, 2020, the National Electoral Council (CNE) called parliamentary elections according to the electoral calendar. The CNE increased the number of deputy seats from 167 to 277, reflecting its vast political landscape.
The deputies will be elected 52 percent by nominal vote and 48 percent by list vote. On September 5, the CNE reported that 107 political organizations were registered for a total of 14.400 candidates.
On November 21, the electoral campaign started and will continue until December 5. The elected National Assembly will legislate for five years.