Caracas, January 18, 2018 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly (ANC) released Wednesday a list of five opposition parties that will be required to participate in a re-verification process in order to retain their legal status.
“We have received from the CNE [National Electoral Council] a list of political organizations that must renew themselves in accordance with the constituent decree,” stated ANC President Delcy Rodriguez via her Twitter account.
The parties mentioned in the statement are Democratic Action (AD), Popular Will (VP), First Justice (PJ), the Union and Understanding party (NUVIPA), as well as the Democratic Union Roundtable (MUD), which is the name of the main opposition coalition that also functions as a unified ticket for the anti-government parties.
The three largest parties in Venezuela’s right-wing opposition, AD, VP, and PJ opted to boycott the country’s December 10 municipal elections on the grounds of alleged irregularities in October 15 regional races. NUVIPA did, however, participate in the mayoral elections and it is unclear why the party has been included on the list.
In response to the boycott, the ANC issued a decree on December 20, requiring all parties that didn’t run in the previous election to undergo a re-verification process in order to run in future elections.
AD has indicated that it will re-register with the CNE, though VP and PJ have yet to issue a public comment.
In accordance with Venezuela’s Law of Political Parties, Protests, and Public Meetings, the parties will be required to collect signatures from 0.5 percent of the electorate in twelve states of their choosing.
In early 2017, all Venezuelan political parties were obligated to re-register with the CNE. At that time, none of the major opposition parties had any trouble meeting the .05 percent threshold.
The announcement comes as the latest internationally-mediated dialogue summit between the Maduro government and the opposition has been postponed.
In a press conference on Thursday, the Dominican Foreign Ministry’s press director, Hugo Beras, revealed that the talks would be rescheduled for a later date.
The suspension of the meeting came after the opposition issued a statement declaring its refusal to attend the latest round of dialogue in Santo Domingo.
The MUD justified the move on the grounds of its repudiation of a recent remark by Interior Minister Nestor Reverol alleging that opposition figures in the context of the dialogue had helped state security forces locate renegade police officer Oscar Perez. The coalition also cited the absence of some members of the international mediation team comprised of foreign ministers from several Latin American countries.
Nonetheless, the MUD expressed its willingness to return to the negotiating table provided its conditions were met.
Government and opposition spokespeople previously met in Santo Domingo on January 12-13, which both sides lauded as “positive”, despite no final agreements being reached.