In the midst of a tense political and economic climate, Venezuela will hold elections for Municipal Councils this 9th of December. This will be Venezuela's 5th electoral process to be held over the last 18 months.
In these elections, Venezuelans will select an estimated 4,900 councilors. Several of the candidates, among the 51 participating political parties and organizations, are affiliated with a Commune or social movement. Although many of those communal candidates were also nominated by the government ruling party, the PSUV, many others come from grassroots organizations and prefer not to be represented by the government party nor any of the opposition parties.
Zuly Dávila, who protagonizes this video report, is a young candidate from the commune “Paso de Bolívar 1813” located in a rural mountainous community in Municipality of Rangel in Mérida state. Zuly, although she has received supported by the PSUV party, favors popular and grassroots work in her campaign like many other grassroots candidates. She visits communities in her commune, emphasizing collective action, organization and production to counteract and overcome the current economic crisis.
Although historically the municipal council elections have not mobilized the vote of the majority of Venezuelan citizens, they are an important structure for municipal legislature and organization, in which the remaining contradictions between traditional power, grassroots power and opposition forces are clearly visible. It would appear that this year, communes and grassroots candidates like Zuly Dávila have seen that controlling and participating in these power structures could be an important step towards consolidating power for what Hugo Chávez has referred to as the Communal State.