Daniel Ceballos may be in jail, but he’s also on the ballot for Venezuela’s legislative elections. The former San Cristobal mayor is among winners of Sunday’s opposition coalition primary, in which voters chose 42 of the 167 candidates who will compete against the governing socialist party. Ceballos was arrested last year for refusing to help the national government put down a wave of street protests fed in part by anger over crime, inflation and shortages. In a quirk of Venezuelan law, a win in the general election could spring the 31-year-old from military prison because legislators receive immunity from prosecution during their terms.
Another winner of Sunday’s primary, Enzo Scarano, was recently released from the same prison, where he served time for involvement in the protests.
The general election later this year is the opposition’s best chance in years to win a legislative majority. Coalition leaders are counting on the dissatisfaction that sent young people into the streets in 2014 to help them win decisively at the polls and begin the process of mounting a recall against President Nicolas Maduro.