Caracas, February 7, 2005—Venezuela’s governing party, the Fifth Republic Movement (MVR) of President Hugo Chavez, approved an internal regulation that establishes a quota of 50% for women nominees for National Assembly and district and municipal council elections today. Quotas were also established for union and community leaders, as well as party members between the age of 21 and 28, and retired military officers. These internal regulations will be applied for the upcoming district and municipal council elections in June and for National Assembly elections in December.
The announcement was made by National Assembly deputy William Lara of the MVR, who explained that the party is placing greater emphasis on equal opportunities for women and fostering greater youth participation. “We are going to nominate candidates in accordance with the will of each one of our members of the organization in all of the country…in agreement with this regulation, to establish equal participation between men and women,” affirmed Lara.
Lara went on to state that this decision fulfills the obligations outlined in Article 67 of the Bolivarian Constitution, clarifying that, “half of the candidacies that make up this electoral process must be members of civil society, union leaders, cultural workers, union members, leaders of rural workers, leaders of Indigenous populations, religious members and community leaders.”
Lara noted that the MVR is not a closed party, but rather an open party that is reaching out to the entirety of Venezuela, in particular, the youth. “We have established that 20% of the nominations of the organization must be young men and women between the ages of 21 and 28,” emphasized Lara. In order to run for a district of municipal council, a candidate must by 21 or older.
The new internal regulations of the party also specify that retired military officers, non-commissioned officers, and reservists would constitute 10% of nominees. This regulation has the purpose of fulfilling the civilian-military component of the Bolivarian project.
“It is important that this electoral platform gathers together the different voices in Venezuelan society. The heart of this process is its civilian-military unity…We present this intention with pride and faith, and although it hurts the opposition, we are going to establish a minimum of 10% participation for retired military officers, officers and non-commissioned officers for the elections for the base that we will carry out after the census of the MVR,” clarified Lara.
The National Assembly Deputy explained that the party would go into all of the different neighborhoods, districts, and municipalities in order to establish an electoral notebook which will contain the first and last names of all of the members of the MVR, as well as the numbers of their identification cards, and addresses. This will guarantee that both men and women will be equally represented in the MVR.