Puebla, Mexico, October 27, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuelan officials confirmed Thursday new governorship elections will take place in December.
The decision was made by the National Constituent Assembly, which is yet to set an exact date for the vote.
“We say to Zulia: we are going to continue to protect your will, that will be expressed peacefully, again, in an electoral process,” said ANC head Delcy Rodriguez.
The move sets the electoral rerun further back than expected, after officials had initially suggested the vote should take place in November.
The electoral re-run was prompted after Zulia’s governor-elect, the opposition’s Juan Pablo Guanipa, refused to swear in. Guanipa had won the governorship vote earlier in October, but refused to join a swearing-in ceremony before the ANC.
Widely condemned by the opposition, the ANC has broad powers to propose changes to Venezuela’s constitution. While President Nicolas Maduro has argued the ANC could help overcome Venezuela’s political divide, the opposition has dismissed the body as a ploy to override the power of the country’s right-wing-controlled parliament, the National Assembly.
After winning the October elections, Guanipa was the only opposition governor-elect to refuse to swear in before the controversial ANC. In response, the Legislative Council of the State of Zulia declared earlier this week the position of governor had become “vacant”.
“When he decided to participate as a candidate for the race, he knew that those elections had been convened under the Constituent Assembly, and he knew that he should be sworn in before the National Constituent Assembly,” said Rodriguez.
Along with the new governorship vote in Zulia, December will also see municipal elections for new mayors. The exact date of the municipal elections is likewise yet to be confirmed.