Elections for National Assembly Underway

President Nicolás Maduro on September 8, 2020, speaks about the Great Patriotic Pole's participation in the December 2020 elections.

Parliamentary elections in Venezuela for a new National Assembly are to be held on December 6. Voters will elect 277 deputies for the 2021-2026 period -- 110 more members than the National Assembly currently has. Registration of parties and candidates that will contest the election concluded on September 4, with 107 political organizations participating, some as part of alliances. Just over half the seats will be filled by proportional representation and the remainder by first-past-the-post. A total of 14,400 candidate nominations were received.

The governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela will be joined by a number of smaller parties in the Great Patriotic Pole. Five opposition parties will put forward their candidates as part of the Democratic Alliance, rejecting the call of the U.S.-financed fake "president" Juan Guaidó and a number of other opposition factions to boycott yet another election in favour of holding out for "a violent shortcut" to power, as a rival opposition leader put it. This reveals an opposition in disarray.

Another point of contention dividing the U.S.-financed opposition can be seen in the sharp differences in their reactions and mutual accusations in response to President Nicolás Maduro's decision to grant a pardon to 110 opposition politicians and other individuals facing criminal charges, to foster dialogue and reconciliation in the country. Twenty of those pardoned were members of the National Assembly which since 2016 has been in contempt of laws it is duty-bound to uphold. Those individuals are now free to stand for re-election.

Along with releasing the results of the automated candidate registration process, the National Electoral Council issued a statement rejecting the interference of the United States government which has imposed illegal sanctions against its president, Indira Maira Alfonzo, and one of its directors. The statement made clear that the electoral body rejected any attempt of any foreign government to issue orders to, impose conditions on, or coerce its senior officials in the performance of their duties.

Advances towards holding successful parliamentary elections are taking place at a time there is heightened concern over the possibility of a direct U.S. military intervention, or one launched by proxy forces, with those from Colombia and Brazil most often mentioned. Indications of this include the constant sabre-rattling towards Venezuela by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and assorted U.S. Southcom generals and the increasingly brutal U.S. blockade aimed at completely suffocating Venezuela economically. Concern is also heightened by the state of disarray in which the opposition finds itself, the continuing presence of the U.S. Navy near the Venezuelan coast supposedly engaging in routine "anti-narcotics" patrols and exercises, and the illegal presence of U.S. troops inside Colombia, in open violation of the country's constitution, allegedly to advise and train Colombia's military in counter-narcotics operations.

(Photos: PSUV, Venezuelan President's official twitter page)

This article was published in

Volume 50 Number 34 - September 12, 2020

Article Link:
Venezuela: Elections for National Assembly Underway


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