Mérida, November 5, (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuela’s electoral campaign towards this year’s parliamentary elections officially began on Tuesday.
The National Electoral Council (CNE) raised the curtain on the campaign and is installing 1,000 information points around the country to instruct voters on the electronic voting system for the elections.
CNE President Indira Alfonzo spoke from the electoral body headquarters in Caracas and stressed the need to “promote and stimulate voters to participate”.
National Assembly elections are scheduled for December 6, with a total of 107 political organizations running for 277 parliamentary seats for a five year term that begins on January 5, 2021. More than 20 million citizens will be able to cast their vote.
President Nicolas Maduro insisted on social media that the 14,400 candidates take the necessary precautions against Covid-19 during the campaign.
Several events took place around the country, with the Great Patriotic Pole, led by the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), kicking off its campaign at Plaza Diego Ibarra in Caracas.
“The people of this country have five years resisting sanctions, guarimbas, coup attempts [...] It’s time to fight back! ” campaign chief Jorge Rodriguez said in his speech.
Rodriguez added that the party has received “dozens of ideas” from social sectors and that candidates will travel the country to promote a set of laws to defend families, the environment, animals and all the rights of the Venezuelan people.
The leftist and newly formed Popular Revolutionary Alternative (APR) also began its campaign at the Venezuelan Communist Party (PCV) headquarters in Caracas. For the first time, the PCV and other Chavista forces such as the Homeland For All party (PPT) are fielding an independent set of candidates from the government.
APR candidates have been critical of what they describe as a rightward shift in the government’s economic policies and demand that wages and labor rights be protected. The recently approved Anti-blockade Law has been the focus of heated debate.
A number of US-backed right-wing opposition parties led by self-proclaimed “Interim President'' Juan Guaido decided not to take part in the elections and have called for a boycott. However, a host of other opposition parties have broken ranks and urged Venezuelans to take to the polls.
One such party is center-right Solutions, which began its campaign with a rally in the city of Los Teques, Miranda State. Solutions’ Secretary General Claudio Fermin stated that from the National Assembly the party’s candidates will be able to control and supervise public investment.
“Institutions are not talking to each other and are ever more distant from the people,” Fermin told reporters. “This diminishes their ability to address people’s problems.”
Henri Falcon, leader of Progressive Advance and former opposition presidential candidate, questioned the extremism of fractions of the opposition who call for abstention and promote sanctions against the country to advance their political agenda. He defended the electoral route as the only valid means to resolve political differences.
Edited by Ricardo Vaz from Mérida.