What you need to know about the Venezuelan regional elections

The voters will choose new governors for the 23 states

The voters will choose new governors for the 23 states 

Leer en Español: Lo que debe saber de las elecciones regionales en Venezuela

On Sunday, October 15th, around 18 million Venezuelans will be able to vote in their regional elections. This ballot will be the first, after the creation of the National Constitutional Assembly, organized by the Government creating a sense of disagreement in the international community.

It seems as if Maduro's administration hopes to take advantage of the opposition’s weakness to maintain his party’s control in the majority of the states. Right now, the ruling party controls 20 out of 23 states. However, the **last polls suggest that the opposition candidates will win majority**.

The opposition leaders also asked the international community to keep an eye on the elections. Liliana Hernández, electoral manager of the MUD, warned that the National Electoral Council is planning to relocate 205 voting centers, affecting nearly 456 thousand voters.

MUD: NEC is planning to relocate 205 voting centers, affecting nearly 456 thousand voters

The opposition’s dilemma

On August 9th, the opposition party decided to participate in the regional elections; they fear that the suffrage will be manipulated and the current administration with push a fake win on the people of Venezuela. However, these actions can be interpreted as them accepting to play by the government’s rules.

President Nicolas Maduro also took advantage of this election and said that "everyone who votes in the regional election, will be accepting the power of the National Constitutional Assembly" which only elected presidential supporters. For this reason, various representatives of the MUD refused to participate in that point in time. By not participating, they assured that their lack of interaction would apply international pressure and set limits to Maduro’s power.

This time around, if they don't participate, the Chavism will most likely win all the votes and rule without a counterbalance. If they don't take part in this election, the opposition will continue losing power and it will be difficult if they want to be taken into consideration for presidency in 2018.

 

Latin American Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto

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