Venezuela’s election board on Thursday banned advertisements by a small political party whose slogans mimic the main opposition coalition in what critics say is part of a campaign by the government to tilt next month’s parliamentary election. President Nicolas Maduro has said the Dec. 6 vote for a new National Assembly is the toughest the socialists have faced in their 17-year rule. The opposition believes the poll may mark the beginning of the end for the governing “Chavismo” movement. Controversy has swirled for weeks around the MIN Unity party, whose name, symbols and slogans are similar to the opposition coalition Democratic Unity, which says it is an obvious attempt to confuse voters.
Although its campaign slogan is “We are the opposition,” MIN Unity’s best-known candidate is a Socialist Party legislator.
In one district, a parking attendant with no evident political experience – but the same name as the opposition incumbent Ismael Garcia – is on the MIN Unity ticket. “It would seem some political organizations intended to generate confusion,” election board member Luis Rondon said.
“This action violates legislation in article 75 of the Electoral Law prohibiting the use of symbols or colours of other organizations without their authorization.”