Mérida, 9th March 2013 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – New Venezuelan presidential elections will be held on Sunday 14 April, Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE) has announced.
The decision follows the death of President Hugo Chavez on Tuesday after a long battle with cancer. Venezuela’s constitution states that in such a circumstance a new presidential election should be held within 30 days.
In accordance with Chavez’s wish, the candidate to replace him as president will be Nicolas Maduro, Chavez’s former vice-president and the current interim president of the republic.
The opposition coalition, the MUD, has asked Miranda state governor Henrique Capriles, who lost to Chavez in last October’s presidential election, to be their candidate, and he said he will announce his decision in the next few hours.
Candidate registrations will take place on 10 and 11 March, and the formal campaign will last ten days, from 2 to 11 April. The electoral register will be the same as the one used last October.
The CNE is to request an electoral observation mission from the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), as well as inviting Venezuelan non-governmental electoral organisations to participate in the electoral process.
Presidential candidates will also be able to invite up to twenty international accompaniers each.
CNE president Tibisay Lucena, who made the announcements this afternoon, also stated that due to the circumstances the municipal elections slated for 14 July would be postponed.
Special campaign rules were announced, with TV ads to last a maximum of 4 minutes and radio ads 5 minutes. The CNE is now in permanent session to prepare for the vote.