President Nicolas Maduro is doubling-down on plans to concentrate power by calling Wednesday for early congressional elections to coincide with a presidential vote in April that opponents hours earlier said they would boycott unless steps are taken to ease fears it’s rigged. Pushing ahead a vote for the democratically elected National Assembly could spell a shake-up in the last branch of government still out of Maduro’s control. The opposition’s move edging to an outright boycott means Maduro is unlikely to face any major challenge in the April 22 race despite widespread anger over his handling of an economy marred by soaring inflation and shortages of food and life-saving medicine.Full Article: Venezuela's Maduro Calls for Early Congress Vote as Well | World News | US News.
Articles about voting issues in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
A top Venezuelan opposition party announced on Friday it would boycott April’s presidential vote, showing divides within the opposition coalition. Popular Will, the third largest opposition party, said it would “not nominate or endorse any candidate” in the April 22 presidential election that it says amounts to a “fraud,” DW reported. “Those who register in these conditions are doing the dictatorship a favor,” said the party led by Leopoldo Lopez. He is under house arrest on allegations of inciting violence in 2014 protests. Venezuela’s opposition is huddled around the Democratic Unity Round Table (MUD), an alliance of some 20 parties opposed to Socialist President Nicolas Maduro.Full Article: Leading Venezuelan Party to Boycott Election | Financial Tribune.
Venezuela’s National Electoral Council highlights 15 audits have been planned to guarantee the process’ transparency. Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE) has confirmed the date for the next presidential elections will be April 22 and provided details on the dates for voter and candidate registration. The announcement was made by Sandra Oblitas, CNE’s Vice-president, who added that 531 locations would be open throughout the country for voters to register and to change where they vote. Venezuelans will have until Feb. 20 to register to vote in the presidential elections.Full Article: Venezuela: Electoral Council Confirms Election Dates, Plans | News | teleSUR English.
The Venezuelan government’s decision to plow ahead with early presidential elections over the objections of the opposition risks spurring more international sanctions and exacerbating an economic and social crisis driving increasing numbers of Venezuelans into exile, analysts said Thursday. Opposition politicians were meeting the day after officials announced the April 22 vote, deciding whether to challenge socialist President Nicolas Maduro in an election that several foreign nations have already vowed not to recognize — or to boycott it. They accuse Maduro’s government of rigging recent elections and making a fair race impossible, in part by barring the most popular opposition parties and candidates. International condemnation of the snap election has begun pouring in.Full Article: Venezuela election could trigger deeper sanctions, exiles - The Washington Post.
Venezuela: Few Challengers in Sight, Venezuela Sets April 22 for Presidential Vote | The New York Times
The Venezuelan government said Wednesday that it would hold a snap presidential election on April 22, putting the unpopular administration of President Nicolás Maduro in the hands of voters at a time when most top challengers have been barred from running. The announcement was made by Tibisay Lucena, the president of the country’s electoral commission, who said the date had been chosen after negotiations with opposition politicians had failed to reach an agreement about how to conduct the election fairly. The election will allow Venezuelans to “freely decide their fate,” she said. “We are committed, as always, to our constitutional task, to guarantee the right conditions so that democratic differences are settled through an efficient, transparent and balanced vote.”Full Article: Few Challengers in Sight, Venezuela Sets April 22 for Presidential Vote - The New York Times.
Venezuela’s government and opposition pushed on Tuesday with talks aimed at soothing their country’s political crisis, but President Nicolas Maduro’s bid for virtually unopposed re-election in early polls weighed heavily on the negotiations. The government’s chief negotiator, Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez, said “electoral guarantees” for the vote would be on the table — as was the issue of US economic sanctions that have worsened Caracas’ precarious finances. “We are working on all the issues and we have narrowed positions on all the issues,” he said as he arrived at the Dominican Republic’s foreign ministry, the venue for the talks overseen by several Latin American foreign ministers. The latest round of negotiations opened on December 1.Full Article: Venezuela talks move forward under shadow of early election.
Venezuela is under mounting international pressure over the government’s decision to push up presidential elections under conditions that opponents say overwhelmingly favor President Nicolas Maduro, who is so far the only candidate. Spain, a major trading partner with deep roots in Venezuela, became the latest government to break diplomatic ties on Friday, while French President Emmanuel Macron said that he’s open to additional European Union sanctions against what he called an “unacceptable authoritarian shift” by Maduro. The pro-government national constituent assembly last week called for an election to be held by the end of April but set no date.Full Article: Venezuela election push draws dismay.
Venezuela’s highest court ruled Thursday the country’s largest opposition coalition won’t be able to run a joint ticket in upcoming presidential election. The Supreme Court of Venezuela (TSJ) found the decade-old opposition coalition, the MUD, violated the norm of avoiding “double affiliation” – the act of holding membership of two parties at the same time. “This grouping character openly contradicts the prohibition of double membership,” the TSJ said. The court’s decision put a question mark over the future of the MUD, which has sought to unify Venezuela’s disparate opposition parties since 2008.Full Article: Venezuela’s Opposition Blocked from Running Unity Ticket | Venezuelanalysis.com.
Venezuela: Maduro eyes re-election as Venezuela fires starting gun for presidential vote | The Guardian
Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro has said that he is ready to seek another term in office after the pro-government constituent assembly declared that new presidential elections must be held by 30 April. Analysts described Tuesday’s announcement as an attempt by the ruling socialist party to exploit opposition disarray – and cement control before the country’s economic crisis becomes even more acute. The announcement comes after the European Union levied sanctions against seven high-ranking officials for their role in cracking down on democratic freedoms and for violently crushing anti-Maduro protests last year. “If the world wants to apply sanctions, we will apply elections,” said a defiant Diosdado Cabello, one of the sanctioned officials and vice-president of the assembly, a pro-Maduro body that has assumed extraordinary powers to run the country. “There will be revolution for a long time to come.”Full Article: Maduro eyes re-election as Venezuela fires starting gun for presidential vote | World news | The Guardian.
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro announced Sunday that leading opposition parties will be barred from taking part in next year’s presidential vote after they boycotted mayoral polls, in a move set to further consolidate his grip on power. That includes the groups of key figures who have led street protests against his rule such as Henrique Capriles, Leopoldo Lopez and others, Mr Maduro told reporters after casting his vote in the municipal polls. “That’s what the National Constituent Assembly set out,” he said, referring to a controversial Maduro-allied special powers legislature whose legitimacy has been questioned by many in the international community.Full Article: Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro bans opposition parties from election.
Venezuelans will choose hundreds of mayors on Sunday in elections pitting candidates backed by President Nicolas Maduro against a fractured opposition still bruised by a poor showing in recent gubernatorial voting. The ballots for local leaders in 335 city halls across the oil-rich nation are the final national elections before presidential elections next year in which Maduro is expected to run. Voting takes place against a backdrop of soaring inflation, shortages of food and medicine, and charges that Maduro’s government has undermined Venezuela’s democracy by imprisoning dissidents and usurping the powers of the opposition-controlled Congress. The economic and political crises have caused the socialist president’s popularity to plunge but the opposition has largely been unable to take advantage.Full Article: Venezuela’s mayoral elections reveals opposition turmoil - The Washington Post.
Venezuela’s ruling socialists triumphed in nearly all mayoral elections across the country, as President Nicolas Maduro threatened to ban opposition parties from future elections in the oil-rich country wracked by economic crisis. Hundreds of supporters shouted “Go Home, Donald Trump” to interrupt Maduro at a rally late on Sunday in the colonial centre of Caracas, where he announced that pro-government candidates had won more than 300 of the 335 mayoral offices. Sunday’s voting marked the last nationwide elections before next year’s presidential race, when Maduro is expected to seek another term despite his unpopularity. “The imperialists have tried to set fire to Venezuela to take our riches,” Maduro told the crowd. “We’ve defeated the American imperialists with our votes, our ideas, truths, reason and popular will.”Full Article: Venezuela’s Maduro threatens to ban rivals from future elections | World news | The Guardian.
The Trump administration slapped sanctions on 10 Venezuelan officials Thursday on allegations of corruption and rights violations after President Nicolas Maduro’s candidates swept nationwide state governor elections last month. The individuals are associated with undermining electoral processes, media censorship, or corruption in Maduro’s administered food programs in Venezuela, the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said in a statement. As a result of the Treasury’s action, all of the sanctioned individuals’ assets under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen and all U.S. citizens are prohibited from dealing with them. Maduro’s allies claimed a landslide victory in October’s gubernatorial elections, while opposition candidates accused the government of election tampering and fraud. Since then, Venezuela’s legislative super body has moved to silence some of Maduro’s most strident critics — stripping the parliamentary immunity of Freddy Guevara, vice president of the opposition-led National Assembly — and approving legislation to clamp down on the media.Full Article: U.S. Targets Venezuelan Electoral, Media Officials in New Sanctions - Bloomberg.
Aires Pérez Rodríguez traveled by canoe for three hours to deliver the paper receipts showing a total of 225 votes cast for state governor in this hamlet. Then he passed them to his aunt, who drove them a further 150 miles to the Bolívar state capital. When the official count was released days after the Oct. 15 election, however, there were an extra 471 votes for the government’s candidate. It wasn’t just Mr. Pérez, the opposition party’s election monitor, who noticed. The ruling Socialist Party’s own election supervisor in El Casabe realized it, too. “This is illegal,” said Luciano Mendoza, the election supervisor, who showed The Wall Street Journal the voting-machine receipts that counted just a third as many votes from the hamlet as reported by electoral authorities later. “They say they bring justice, but instead they commit fraud.”Full Article: How Venezuela Fell Victim to ‘Clear Manipulation’ in Election - WSJ.
Three of Venezuela’s largest opposition parties vowed on Monday to boycott mayoral polls later this year in protest at an election system they say is biased in favor of President Nicolas Maduro’s ruling socialists. The multi-party Democratic Unity coalition has had a tough 2017, first failing to bring down Maduro in four months of protests that led to 125 deaths, then losing surprisingly to the Socialist Party in a gubernatorial election earlier this month. That has left the opposition weakened and divided, and Maduro strengthened, despite growing foreign pressure on his government over alleged rights abuses and corruption, and an unprecedented economic crisis that has millions skipping food. Three heavyweight movements in the opposition – Justice First, Popular Will and Democratic Action – announced on Monday they did not trust the government-leaning election board sufficiently to participate in the municipal polls in December.Full Article: Major Venezuelan opposition parties to boycott local polls.
Venezuela’s opposition presented evidence Thursday of possible ballot tampering in gubernatorial elections, seeking to bolster its claim that its shock loss at the polls was the result of fraud. The Democratic Unity Roundtable’s claim rests on results from a single race, in industrial Bolivar state, where pro-government candidate Justo Noguera was declared the winner by just 1,471 votes over opposition candidate Andres Velasquez. The opposition coalition said the results on the National Electoral Council’s website don’t match the tallies from 11 ballot boxes certified by poll workers representing multiple political parties. It said the inconsistencies resulted in 2,199 votes from those polling stations being awarded incorrectly to Noguera, enough to swing the vote in his favor. Electoral authorities had no immediate comment.Full Article: Venezuela opposition claims evidence of tampered vote count - The Washington Post.
Venezuela’s opposition boycotted a swearing-in ceremony Wednesday for governors held by the all-powerful, pro-government constitutional assembly following disputed elections largely won by ruling party candidates. Eighteen new socialist governors stood, lifted one hand and pledged to uphold Venezuela’s constitution in the ceremony at the assembly’s chamber. A painting of the late President Hugo Chavez stood nearby. Notably absent were the five opposition candidates who won seats in Sunday’s regional elections. The opposition’s alliance said earlier in the day that it would boycott the session before a body they consider unconstitutional. “They will only pledge before God and their respective legislative councils,” the opposition said in a statement.Full Article: Venezuela opposition governors boycott swearing in ceremony - The Washington Post.
For members of Venezuela’s opposition, the big question heading into Sunday’s elections seemed less about whether they would win than how much power they would be allowed to wield once they did. Widespread dissatisfaction with President Nicolás Maduro’s ruling party was plain to see. Violent demonstrations had taken over the streets for months, while many thousands of Venezuelans had fled the country to escape scarcities of food and medicine, rampant violence and a triple-digit inflation. Polls had predicted that opposition candidates could nearly sweep the board in Sunday’s gubernatorial races, taking as many as 18 of the nation’s 23 statehouses. Yet the result was the opposite: Candidates aligned with the president won at least 17 state races, some by wide margins. Opposition candidates took only five. They even lost in states that were considered overwhelmingly pro-opposition.Full Article: Venezuelan Opposition Denounces Latest Vote as Ruling Party Makes Gains - The New York Times.
Venezuela’s opposition has called for street protests after President Nicolas Maduro’s government won a majority of governorships in a surprise result from Sunday’s regional elections. The Democratic Unity’s election campaign chief, Gerardo Blyde, demanded a complete audit of the 23 governor races and called on its candidates to lead “street activities” on Monday in protest over the results the party said it would not recognise. The ruling Socialist party took 17 governorships, while the Democratic Unity coalition took five, with results irreversible in all but one of the 23 states, said Tibisay Lucena, the electoral board president. “Chavismo is alive, in the street, and triumphant,” a beaming Maduro said in a speech to the nation, referring to the ruling movement’s name for former president Hugo Chavez.Full Article: Venezuela elections: opposition calls for protests after Socialist party claims win | World news | The Guardian.
Venezuela’s opposition refused on Monday to recognize a surprise win for the ruling socialists in a weekend regional election, potentially rekindling protests and fresh foreign sanctions on the oil-rich country’s moribund economy. Venezuela’s pro-government electoral board said President Nicolas Maduro’s candidates took 17 governorships, versus six for the opposition, in Sunday’s poll with turnout of more than 61 percent. The socialists’ strong showing was unexpected after devastating food shortages and salary-destroying inflation fueled anger at Maduro. Polls had suggested the opposition would easily win a majority, with one survey giving them 44.7 percent of voter intentions against 21.1 percent for the government. Dismayed opposition leaders decried irregularities, called for street action on Monday and demanded a full audit, but did not immediately offer any evidence of fraud.Full Article: Venezuela vote dispute risks rekindling unrest, sanctions.