After the first week of electoral campaigning for the 7 October presidential elections, the National Electoral Council (CNE) has reported some media bias in relation to the campaigns. The national assembly has condemned two acts of violence by the opposition, and President Hugo Chavez has reported that his health is no impediment to his campaign.
The Venezuelan presidential election race got underway yesterday with the official campaign launches of both President Hugo Chavez and Henrique Capriles, the two main contenders for the 7 October vote.
President Hugo Chávez said yesterday that he has become aware of a “hidden” plan by the extreme right of the opposition to “boycott” or not recognise the results of the 7 October presidential elections.
President Hugo Chavez, with a clean bill of health, registered as a candidate for the upcoming presidential elections yesterday, while opposition member Henrique Capriles registered on Sunday, both accompanied by large marches. Five other people have also registered as candidates.
With just under four weeks until the official launch of Venezuela’s presidential election campaign on 1 July, President Hugo Chavez’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) is gearing up for a nationwide campaign which seeks to garner 10 million votes for Chavez and secure the Venezuelan president’s third full term in office.
Government representatives and private media have said opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles’ campaign is “stagnating” as he fails to gain support, while journalists also marched yesterday protesting violent attacks committed against them by Capriles’ supporters.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez returned to Venezuela on Friday night, announcing a successful conclusion to his radiotherapy treatment in Cuba and his intention to return to the frontline of Venezuelan politics. Meanwhile, polls show him extending his advantage over rival Henrique Capriles Radonski.
Yesterday President Hugo Chavez phoned the state television channel VTV in order to dispel the rumours created by the opposition and private media that, following nine days of “absence” from public life while receiving radiotherapy in Cuba, he had “died” or had experienced a medical emergency.
After nine months campaigning for people to sign up for the electoral register, the CNE has closed the process, seeing non-registered voters reduced to 3.5% of the population. President Hugo Chavez also approved financial resources for the upcoming elections, as well as extra resources for state governments and for housing.
The National Secretary of Venezuela’s Communist Party, Pedro Eusse, has warned that the opposition coalition, the Roundtable of Democratic Unity (MUD), is laying the foundations to dispute the results of this year’s presidential elections in October, as well as to possibly incite violence.
Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE) has made official the dates for the national elections to be held in the country later this year, while calling on all candidates to make a public commitment to recognise the results.