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Venezuela’s Maduro Calls for Reactivation of the Great Patriotic Pole

Merida, May 22nd 2013 ( – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro put out a call this morning to reactivate the national party and movement coalition, the Great Patriotic Pole (GPP). His call comes among speculation that there could be municipal elections in November, as well as a push by social movements to be included in upper government bodies.

Maduro called a national assembly of the pole for June, and said that he would propose there that the organisation change its name to Simon Bolivar.

“Anything that takes on the name ‘Bolivariano’, or the name of Simon Bolivar, has to be anti-imperialist,” Maduro said, explaining his proposal.

The GPP was originally proposed by the late president Hugo Chavez as a way to unite the country’s diverse movements, collectives, and left wing political parties. At the end of 2011 35,000 such organisations registered in the Pole.

Organisations then formed a range of national committees, such as women’s rights committees, and ones for the disability movement, the sexual diversity movement, culture, African descendents, and so on. However, by October last year, the Pole was inactive in most of the country.

Following a meeting with the council of movements and parties that support the Bolivarian revolution from 10pm last night until 2am this morning, Maduro explained his proposal to the press, and argued that the GPP is “union in diversity... in order to build the revolution’s new legitimacy, to build a stable majority”.

According to the Correo del Orinoco, progressive parties at the meeting proposed the creation of a “superior council for food security” to fight food hoarding and scarcity. The Redes party proposed the formation of “superior leadership councils” with the social movements, revolutionary forces, and communities, for each ministry.

Maduro also invited the GPP to participate in the government’s “street government” work, where ministers are visiting the country state by state to listen to community proposals and announce public works to be built.

The National Electoral Council (CNE) has not formally announced the new date for the municipal elections, but El Universal reported that they could be on 24 November this year. The elections were going to be in July this year, but were postponed following the death of Hugo Chavez and the calling of new presidential elections.

In the municipal elections, 335 mayors, 2,435 local councillors, 69 municipal indigenous representatives, 2 metropolitan mayors, and 20 town councillors are elected.

Published on May 22nd 2013 at 10.23pm