Henrique Capriles Radonski Withdraws from MUD Opposition Coalition

The former presidential candidate said he would not participate in the coalition as long as Democratic Action leader Ramos Allup continued to be a member.

Henrique Capriles Radonski
Henrique Capriles Radonski

Bogota, October 24 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuelan politician Henrique Capriles Radonski announced Tuesday afternoon that he will withdraw from the opposition coalition the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD).

In a live Periscope broadcast on Twitter, Capriles said he would not participate in the MUD as long as Democratic Action party leader Ramos Allup continued to be a member. 

“While Mr. Henry Ramos Allup continues in the MUD, I will not sit at that table,” he said. 

Capriles had previously accused Allup of being a spokesperson for the Nicolas Maduro government. He also slammed the AD leader as an autocrat and said he had been led astray by personal political ambition. 

“In 2015, Ramos Allup got it into his head that he could be a presidential candidate and all the politics, and everything he’s wanted to do since then has been aimed at that. And it’s more than clear that he is the candidate that the government wants… Now a lot of things in the past make sense… the failure of the [2016] recall referendum,” he said. 

The political leader also suggested that it was time to set up a “new unity” amongst the opposition without any “thieves” or “people without principles”. He likened the “restructure” of the coalition to “surgically removing a tumour”. 

“It’s necessary to re-found the Unity, because I am not prepared to go on… I won’t commit my party [Justice First], that is something we have to debate,” he said.

The MUD coalition was thrown into chaos after the results of Venezuela’s regional elections on October 15. The elections handed a shock victory to the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), which won eighteen out of Venezuela’s twenty-three state governorships. 

Tensions in the opposition alliance came to a head on Monday when four AD state governors decided to defy the MUD leadership and swear in before the pro-government National Constituent Assembly.

Allup gave a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, in which he said that the four AD governors had “expelled themselves” from AD for disobeying party rules, and called on the opposition to stop “taking shots at each other”. 

“I am not going to argue with anyone, I won’t take the bait, but I am very sorry that many spokespeople in the First Justice party are aiming to take shots at Democratic Action and me, for an argument that I am not responsible for,” said Allup. 

Though the AD veteran claimed that he wasn’t aware that the four AD governors would swear-in before the ANC, he said that they had done it in order to be able to take up the positions they were elected to on October 15. Capriles accused Allup of lying and said the expulsions of the four governors were “fake”. 

As a founder of the Justice First party, Capriles stood as the MUD’s official presidential candidate in both 2012 and 2013, when he lost to the PSUV. He also formerly held the state governorship of Miranda until being banned from office earlier this year by the national Ombudsman for misconduct.

The MUD was officially formed in 2008 as an alliance of parties opposed to the national Chavista government. The coalition is made up of a variety of different political parties, ranging from centre to far-right.