Merida, March 15th, 2010 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – A total of 3,952 United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) members were nominated or nominated themselves for the party’s internal elections to select its candidates for the upcoming National Assembly elections in September.
The nomination process finished on Friday. Opposition controlled Zulia state had the largest number of candidates, with 425 people, followed by the Capital District with 407, Carabobo state with 327, Aragua with 331, Miranda with 307, Lara with 237, Bolivar with 276, and Anzoategui with 220. Amazonas had the lowest number, with 36.
At a meeting with all the nominees in Caracas on Saturday president Hugo Chavez asked the nominees to demonstrate “revolutionary loyalty”.
Luisa Garcia, self-nominated in Apure state, said that never before in Venezuela had a political party opened the doors to such participation. Any of the 7 million registered members of the party were able to nominate themselves.
Kenny Pavon, 30 years old and nominated in Vargas state, told ABN that the participative process was an “opportunity for all revolutionaries to channel their political aspirations in a democratic way”.
Perla Aserraf, running in the capital, said, “Only during revolution is it possible for the base of an organisation to run for a position in the National Assembly in order to work for our community.”
There has been some controversy, however, with one writer, Miles Useche, publishing in the pro-Chavez website Aporrea.org, accusing party functionaries in Bolivar state of fraud. He said that those on the electoral commissions that receive nominations were also nominated. A check of the recently released nomination list shows that some of the names are the same as those appointed for the Bolivar electoral commissions.
Also, Eduardo Samán, known as one of the most sincere and serious revolutionaries and recently removed from his position as minister of commerce, did not appear on the candidacy list, despite having registered his nomination through the CNE (National Electoral Council) website and having handed in the necessary documents in front of many witnesses.
Aporrea published a document with the registration number assigned to his nomination, and Samán commented, “I hope it’s a mistake and not deliberate sabotage. Either way, today I’ll… reclaim my nomination.”
The 48-hour process of challenges or contesting ended today at 6pm. Nominees who have been challenged then have a further 48 hours to respond and the final list will be announced on Thursday.
Internal elections will be on 16 May and contestants will be able to campaign for them from 24 April to 14 May.
In the last National Assembly elections in 2005, well before the PSUV existed, the highest decision making body of the pro-Chavez governing coalition, the National Tactical Commando, chose the pro-Chavez candidates for the elections.