Venezuela parliamentary elections set for December 6

Venezuela parliamentary elections set for December 6

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!


CARACAS, Venezuela (AFP) - Venezuela's National Electoral Council on Wednesday called parliamentary elections for December 6, with the opposition already vowing to boycott.

The National Assembly parliament is the only government branch controlled by the opposition. But it has been left powerless since 2017 when the Supreme Court, which is controlled by the government of President Nicolas Maduro, declared it in contempt and has since annulled its every decision.

Election body president Indira Alfonzo announced the date on the government TV station.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido, the National Assembly president, has accused President Nicolas Maduro's government of wanting to hold elections without meeting "the minimum conditions of transparency”.

The main opposition parties had already announced a boycott of the polls, and Maduro was accused by the United States of attempting to rig the election by naming a regime-friendly electoral authority.

The regime-controlled Supreme Court on June 12 named the electoral body's board of directors — but according to Venezuelan law, that is the job of parliament.

Guaido is recognised by some 60 countries as Venezuela's interim president after declaring himself as such in January 2019, after the National Assembly branded Maduro a usurper over his controversial 2018 re-election in a poll widely derided as rigged.

Maduro, who succeeded former president Hugo Chavez after his death in 2013, has ruled with an iron fist and presided over the economic collapse of his oil-rich country.

He has frustrated several attempts to unseat him, including a failed uprising called by Guaido, and crucially retains the support of the powerful armed forces.

The electoral body announced on Monday a 66 per cent increase in the number of seats in parliament, from 167 to 277, allegedly due to "the demographic increase of the population."

Political parties have from August 10-19 to present their candidates, while the election campaign will run from November 21 to December 5.

Maduro has welcomed the news of the election date and told official television station VTV: "We will prepare for the birth of a new National Assembly”.

With the opposition marginalised, the government has a free hand to regain control of the legislature, which it lost in December 2015 when the opposition routed Maduro's Socialist Party, winning 112 of the 167 seats.

However, its power has been symbolic since 2017 and it was usurped by the all-powerful Constituent Assembly, a separate body created by Maduro and stacked with government supporters.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaper-login


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT