Caracas, March 22nd 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Three of Venezuela’s biggest opposition parties have announced their prospective presidential candidates for the MUD coalition ticket in the 2018 general elections.
Henrique Capriles Radonski (44) for the First Justice Party, Democratic Action veteran Henry Ramos Allup (73), and the currently imprisoned founder of the Popular Will party Leopoldo Lopez (45) were all put forward by their parties to participate in opposition primaries later this year to decide the MUD’s official presidential candidate.
“We thought that we should propose someone with political and public management experience for the presidency of Venezuela, someone with strength. We have put Henry forward. Because the next government will be at a very difficult conjuncture,” confirmed Democratic Action vice-secretary for Miranda, Negal Morales to television channel Globovision.
First Justice also opted for a well-recognized face amongst its political ranks as opposed to embracing new leadership. The current governor of Miranda Henrique Capriles Radonski has previously stood as the MUD’s official presidential candidate in both 2012 and 2013, firstly against Hugo Chavez and then against his successor and current President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro.
Meanwhile it remains unclear how Leopoldo Lopez will be able to participate in the opposition primary elections in a bid for the presidency. The controversial politician is currently serving a thirteen year and nine month prison sentence for promoting anti-government protests in 2014 which cost the lives of forty-three people.
Nonetheless, spokespeople for the hard-right Popular Will party maintain that there is “no impediment” to Lopez standing for presidential candidate.
“We are convinced that we are going to apply pressure, and that will mean that elections are held, and through that pressure we will secure his release,” said Popular Will legislator, Freddy Guevara.
The coalition has confirmed that it is also debating holding primary elections to determine its candidates for regional and municipal elections, postponed from 2016 until this year by the National Electoral Council (CNE).
National elections are scheduled to take place in 2018, but no official date has yet been set by the electoral authority.