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Chavez’s Party Sets Procedure for Nominating Candidates for Venezuela’s Legislature

Merida, March 1st, 2010 ( – On Saturday 700 hundred delegates at the 13th meeting of the four month long United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) extraordinary congress unanimously approved internal regulations for nominating PSUV candidates to the National Assembly elections in September.

All 7 million members registered in the party will be eligible to vote in a process monitored that the National Electoral Council (CNE) will supervise, using its technology. All party members may nominate themselves or others between 4 and 10 March.

Cilia Flores, the first vice-president of the PSUV, said that 87 CNE-defined circumscriptions will elect 87 candidates, and the person who obtains the highest number of votes will win, “without any other limitations.”

The primary elections are planned for 16 May. Flores said, “No one can do what we’re doing in the PSUV, taking 7 million members to general, direct, secret, and automated elections.”

“Today the trust of the people is being ratified, the trust of the men and women who constitute cadres, born in the heat of the struggle, which is a giant step forward in the construction of a protagonistic democracy,” said Nicolas Maduro, member of the national leadership of the party.

The regulations, available in Spanish, state, among other things, that the national leadership of the party is in charge of convoking and organising the election, and that those involved in any of the electoral committees can’t run as candidates.

Nominees must also be over 21 years old, have lived in the corresponding area for at least four years, be Venezuelan with at least 15 years of residency, and be registered in the PSUV.

The document details how PSUV members can register and what information, such as revolutionary and work experience, they should include. Nominees must also declare loyalty to the “revolutionary process and the PSUV”.

The final article, number 29, also says that all PSUV members are obliged to support candidates who have been elected in the primaries. Those who do not can be severely sanctioned and prevented from having any position within the PSUV for 5 years.

Meanwhile, the CNE will also carry out elections for opposition party Copei, where it will elect its national, regional, and municipal leaders. The last time it elected such leaders was in 2002. According to ABN the whole process, to be carried out on 21 March, will cost BsF 570,000 (US$ 132,000), which Copei will pay for.

Published on Mar 1st 2010 at 4.05pm