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Opposition and PSUV Present Plan for Selecting Candidates for Venezuelan Municipal Elections

Caracas, July 15th 2013 ( – Both opposition and government parties presented steps over the weekend for selecting candidates for the Dec. 8 municipal elections.

Coordinators of the opposition party Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) confirmed on Saturday that the party would run on a single unity ballot in order to maximize vote total.

“The unity ballot will facilitate the vote to the elector, decrease confusion, and allow us to take advantage of the lessons of April 14," when the MUD’s single ballot for Henrique Capriles achieved over 7 million votes, the party’s executive secretary Ramon Guillermo said.

The MUD will likely focus on economic issues in an effort to win 30%-40% of mayoral posts currently held by the left-wing United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), whose candidates won 80% of the 335 posts in the previous municipal elections in 2008.

Meanwhile, Governor of Carabobo state and member of the PSUV National Directorate Francisco Ameliach announced that the party would name its municipal candidates later this week. In a speech last month to the PSUV, President Nicolas Maduro suggested that the party would select its candidates with leaders of the Great Patriotic Pole (GPP), as opposed to conducting internal primary elections.

At the close of the Street Government in Apure state yesterday, Maduro called for unity to ensure electoral victory and “consolidate peace and tranquility in the country.”

During the program, Maduro also approved of the first expropriation under his government on a plot of land in Barrio March 19 of Apure’s Birauaca district, in order to build public housing for 213 families.

After reading a proposal from the state’s governor to expropriate the land for families “that have their stake in it [the land] and should be attended to by the Great Venezuela Housing Mission,” Maduro said, “As there is a debate about who owns the land: whether he or she is here, or there, it now doesn't belong to anyone. It belongs to the people.”

Yesterday also marked the beginning of the “Military Street Government” in which military officials examine military equipment and facilities across the country. The project is the initiative of new Defense Minister Carmen Melendez, the country’s first female to serve in the capacity.  

Published on Jul 15th 2013 at 9.38pm