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News: Bolivarian Project

United Socialist Party of Venezuela Announces Primary Elections

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Merida, January 29th 2013 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – The United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), will hold internal elections to choose its candidates for the mayoral and municipal council elections, to be held on 14 July.

The vice-president of the party, Diosdado Cabello, made the announcement yesterday. Though the party doesn’t have a date yet for its primaries, Cabello announced the regulations that will apply for the election of the PSUV’s candidates.

Those running for mayor in the primaries who obtain more than 50% of the vote will become candidates, while in the case that no one person gets a majority, the national leadership of the PSUV will evaluate the top 9 candidates, and choose one.

For councillors, the two top individuals with the most votes will be candidates, and the second two substitutes, and in the case of the councillor lists, the first one will be candidate and the person with the second most votes will be the substitute.

Cabello warned that the process “isn’t simple”, as there are candidates for 335 municipalities, where in each of those, both mayors and councillors are voted for.

While the PSUV has almost 8 million registered members, only those who were registered in Carabobo Battle Units (UBCs- campaign teams for the last presidential elections) and members of 1x10 patrols (similar to the Battle Units, but also active in the recent regional elections) will be able to vote. The list of these PSUV members will be published on the PSUV’s website.

In terms of nominations, the four principal members of UBCs will be able to nominate up to three candidates for any position, and heads of patrols will be able to recommend contenders.

The requirements to be a candidate in the PSUV primaries are similar to those outlined in Venezuelan law; be Venezuelan by birth, over 25 years for mayoral positions or over 21 for councillors, not hold a religious post, and not have a criminal record.

Further, candidates should have been a member of the PSUV since at least 2010, not belong to another political party, have demonstrated “party discipline”, not be undergoing any internal disciplinary process, and not be running for any other position.

Also, “No one who is a legislator in the national assembly, or in the Latin American Parliament, or a regional legislator, can be a candidate. We have to put an end to this thing where every time there are elections it’s the same names that come up,” Cabello said. There will be a limit of 18 candidates per mayoral position, and there are currently 13,658 UBCs.

“It would be difficult for a UBC to pick someone who doesn’t work,” Cabello said.

In the lead-up to last December’s state elections there was some discontent within PSUV ranks because candidates were chosen by president Hugo Chavez (who is also president of the PSUV) and the national leadership only.

Municipal election dates

Today the head of the National Electoral Council (CNE), Tibisay Lucena, announced new dates for the municipal mayoral elections. She had previously announced that they would be in May this year, but they will now be held on 14 July.

For the elections, where mayors and municipal councillors are elected, campaigning will be allowed from 11 June to 11 July.

Regarding the PSUV’s primary elections, she stressed that the date of those is decided by the PSUV, not by the CNE, but said the CNE will “provide the logistical support that is requested by the political organisation”.

Published on Jan 29th 2013 at 10.41pm