Maduro’s PSUV Announces Candidates for Venezuelan Municipal Elections

With the inscription of candidates for mayoral and councilor positions beginning today for the December 8 municipal elections, the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) announced some of its nominations for posts throughout the country.

By Sascha Bercovitch
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From left to right: Winston Vallenilla, Tony “El Potro” Alvarez, and Miguel Perez Pirela, PSUV mayoral candidates for the municipalities of Baruta, Sucre, and Maracaibo, respectively. (Ultimas Noticias)
From left to right: Winston Vallenilla, Tony “El Potro” Alvarez, and Miguel Perez Pirela, PSUV mayoral candidates for the municipalities of Baruta, Sucre, and Maracaibo, respectively. (Ultimas Noticias)

Caracas, August 5 2013 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – With the inscription of candidates for mayoral and councilor positions beginning today for the December 8 municipal elections, the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) announced some of its nominations for posts throughout the country.

Last night President Nicolas Maduro announced the PSUV candidates for the municipalities of Caracas: former Communications Minister Ernesto Villegas for mayor of Greater Caracas; former Tourism Minister Olga Azuaje for the upper-class municipality of Chacao; TV host and actor Winston Vallenilla for the similarly affluent municipality of Baruta; and former baseball player and singer Tony “El Potro” Alvarez for the eastern municipality of Sucre.

Though all four candidates are hoping to win positions currently held by the opposition, the races of Villegas and Alvarez, who challenge incumbents Antonio Ledezma and Carlos Ocariz, are likely to be of particular interest for the governing importance of Greater Caracas and Sucre, which contains the working-class barrio of Petare, a former chavista stronghold, and were previously held by Chavez supporters.

Other announcements from the PSUV include TV host and philosopher Miguel Perez Pirela as the party’s candidate for Maracaibo, the capital of the oil-rich Zulia state currently held by the opposition, and General Major Luis Bohorquez as its candidate for Barquisimeto, the capital of Lara state.

Though Maduro did not explicitly mention the party’s method of selection for its candidates, he suggested in an assembly event in June that they would be designated in coordination with the Great Patriotic Pole (GPP), as opposed to the previously discussed plan of holding internal primary elections.  

In a statement earlier today GPP, which includes left-wing parties such as the PSUV, the Communist Party (PCV), and the Tupamaros, announced that it would present a “unitary platform” for the elections, and that over 13,000 “battle units” had contributed to the postulation of candidates, who will be announced in the coming week.

The positions for 335 mayors, 2,435 municipal councilors, 69 local indigenous representatives, 2 metropolitan mayors, and 20 district councils will be decided in the Dec. 8 elections. PSUV members currently hold 80% of mayoral posts. 

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