Another election ended in Venezuela. This time it was regional, to elect 23 governors, 335 mayors, 253 state legislators and 2,471 councilors, in uA contest crossed by new developments, mainly two: the participation of almost all of the opposition, and the presence of international missions previously absent observers, such as the European Union, the Carter Center, the United Nations, in addition to the presence of, for example, Parlasur and the Latin American Council of Electoral Experts.
The vote in Caracas, capital and center of political power, was marked by a calm that showed two elements. On the one hand, it showed the general context of the current political conflict in the country, and the progressive return of most of the forces to the electoral scene. “We have managed to direct our differences by voting and only then can we resolve them, settle them,” said Jorge Arreaza., former Chancellor and current Minister of Industries and National Production.
“Let’s go out and vote, the time of the guarimbas is over, Of the street protests, that what he left was blood, that we have to say goodbye to waiting for a coup, the time has come to say goodbye to asking for sanctions, to be telling the other countries of the world to come and invade Venezuela, we Venezuelans are the ones who have to solve our problems, and we are going to solve our problems during the electoral process, ”he said. Bernabé Gutiérrez, from Acción Democrática (AD), opposition party that is divided between his leadership and that of Henry Ramos Allup, with a dispute over the ownership of the party card.
The calm in the streets during election day put on the table, on the other hand, lthe possibility of a high abstention, in the continuity of what happened in the legislative election of 2020 where 30.7% of the electoral roll turned out to vote. The element of participation was one of the central factors of analysis during the day, since a low turnout would be the reaffirmation of a political scenario marked by wear and tear and social distancing from political representations, while a higher turnout than in 2020 would indicate, on the contrary, a reversal of this trend.
The contest was marked at the end of the afternoon by uA complaint headed by Henrique Capriles Radonski, who pointed out the existence of a “serious irregularity in almost the entire national territory”, because, he affirmed, several polling stations remained open despite the end of voting time and there were no queues of voters waiting to vote. “The abstention, that is, the levels of participation are not occurring in those who want change, the serious problem of non-participation is faced by the lords of the ruling party, that is, Maduro and his party,” he said, and, for that reason, irregularities would have existed. .
This complaint occurred within the framework of a conference with few cases of incidents, such as the one that occurred in the state of Zulia, on the border with Colombia, where a man was killed by firearm. The fact was, in the version of opposition actors as a product of “armed groups”, something that was denied by the Minister of Internal Relations, Justice and Peace, Remigio Ceballos, who affirmed that it was a “criminal act isolated to the electoral process ”. Diosdado Cabello, vice president of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (Psuv), said, for his part: “the acts of violence the security agencies are working on.”
It is expected that from Monday, with the results of the vote, the different reports of the missions and international oversight will take place. In this regard, the president Nicolás Maduro highlighted the importance of the presence in the country of “electoral centers, intellectual centers, expert centers, from Latin America, the Caribbean, the United States, Europe, Africa, Asia ”.
In this context, he pointed out that “the mission of the European Union is one more oversight, all observers, international companions, must respect the laws of Venezuela, the Constitution, and must respect the regulations of the Electoral Power who invited them. The only thing that I would say to the oversight of the European Union, have the humility of the observers of other countries, to this day they have behaved up to the task, respecting the Constitution and the laws, I hope this is the case until the end of their term. Oversight mission, hopefully ”. His statements occurred after the different alarms by members of the government and the Psuv, such as Cabello, that the European Electoral Observation Mission could have come with a report already prepared with the intention of delegitimizing the regional elections in the country.
The elections will result in an update of the regional and national political power map that, So far, it has been under the majority of Chavismo with 19 of the 23 governorates. It is also expected that after the electoral event there may be announcements about the suspended dialogues in Mexico, although Maduro affirmed on Sunday that they were suspended because “the United States stabbed the dialogue in the back,” and that, “there are no conditions to install it yet because they have to answer for that kidnapping (that of Alex Saab, a Colombian businessman and Venezuelan diplomat extradited from Cape Verde to Miami), and as soon as we believe that there are conditions we will announce it in this way to the country ”.