Puebla, Mexico, January 12, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – One of Venezuela’s most prolific opposition parties has agreed to participate in a controversial electoral verification process.
On Tuesday, Democratic Action (AD) Vice President Edgar Zambrano said his party will adhere to re-registration requirements set by the National Constituent Assembly (ANC). Explaining the party’s decision, he said AD “will not abandon democratic spaces".
“In the face of the abuses of power of the government, we will fight for the historical legacy of … AD, that does not surrender,” he told Globovision.
One of the country’s oldest political parties, AD is one of a trio of major right-wing parties expected to be required to reverify their electoral credentials this year. Along with Popular Will (VP) and First Justice (PJ), AD boycotted this past December's mayoral elections. Since then, the ANC has approved a measure requiring all parties that miss an election to reapply for legal status to appear on the ballots of future votes. The reverification process will require parties like AD prove they still have the support of 0.5 percent of registered voters in at least 12 states.
While the ANC argued the move adhered to existing laws, critics dismissed the reverification process as tantamount to a ban on opposition parties.
Zambrano, however, said his party won’t be disappearing from Venezuela’s political map any time soon.
“There are 75 years of history that can not be erased by the National Constituent Assembly, nor by the government's political project, nor by any attitude that responds to outrages by ignoring the constitution,” he said.
At the beginning of 2017, Venezuela's National Electoral Council required all parties that did not receive at least 1 percent of the vote in the previous election to undergo a nearly identical reverification process, in which they were required to similarly collect signatures from 0.5 percent of registered voters in 12 states – within a two day period.
At the time, neither AD, VP, nor PJ had any problems meeting the threshold.