Venezuelans “Elect” Mayors in Unopposed Elections

PSUV (United Socialist Party of Venezuela) It what I say…period. Illustration: Samuel Bravo

HAVANA TIMES – Venezuelans will vote tomorrow in the elections for 335 mayors and one regional governor, which will be held without formal participation of the opposition, which protested the lack of fair conditions.

The vote, with a predictable victory for the United Socialist Party (PSUV) of President Maduro, were preceded by the governors’ elections of October 15, in which the ruling party won in 18 of 23 states.

The PSUV dominates most of the city halls around the country and in these elections expects to expand its control.

At present the opposition has 76 of 335 mayors offices and tomorrow will most likely see its quota drastically reduced, due to the withdrawal of the main parties, Primero Justicia, Acción Democrática and Voluntad Popular, which refused to participate, denouncing the lack of conditions of fairness and electoral transparency.

The National Electoral Council (CNE) reported that on Friday the installation of the 14,384 polling stations began and that almost 100 percent were already enabled, with some remaining located in remote areas.

“The CNE is making the necessary efforts for the installation of polling stations and voting machines in those areas where geographical and accessibility conditions slow down the process,” said the CNE rector, Tania D’Amelio.

In the western state of Zulia, the regional governor will also be elected, after the winner of the October 15 election, opposition candidate Juan Pablo Guanipa, was stripped of his office for refusing to swear to the Constituent Assembly, an all-powerful body dominated by Maduro supporters.

The dispute over that governorship has opposition candidate Manuel Rosales, who already held the position and who was in exile for several years in Peru, and the PSUV candiate Omar Prieto.

Election Day will have a small group of some 60 observers from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Spain, United States, Suriname, Uruguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, France, Paraguay, United Kingdom, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chile, Colombia and Belgium, admitted by the CNE.

The ruling party took advantage of the almost null presence of the opposition in the campaign to mobilize their sympathizers, and their main leaders led by President Maduro made daily calls for a clean sweep of the 335 city halls.

The opposition was unhappy with the results of the October governors’ elections, alleging that there were a series of irregularities that were not corrected for tomorrow’s vote.

Maduro said Friday night that the country needs “mayor who come with love, humility and a willingness to work.”

Despite the economic crisis, with hyperinflation and economic depression, Maduro recently announced he will seek re-election in 2018 against an opposition opponent until now unknown. The government has already disqualified numerous opposition leaders from running for office, including Henrique Capriles, runner up in the 2013 vote.

Candidates for mayors were warned by Maduro that the winners must also swear to the Constituent Assembly to be able to hold office.

  • Carlyle MacDuff

    Maduro’s achievement is in becoming a despot. Pity the people of Venezuela, a long hard road lies before them.
    Maduro has fired the oil minister and the head of the state oil company, PDVSA and appointed as the new boss, Manuel Quevedo, a general in the national guard, the paramilitary police force which shot some 120 Venezuelans protesting in the streets. By October 7, Venezuela was behind on payments totalling $1,5 billon. Inflation is at over 1,000%

  • Cameron James

    Despots don’t hold honest elections and Venezuela has a voting system accepted by many all over the world as among the best if not the best. So what’s the oppositions reason for not participating?

    • berniegoetz

      The opposition probably was better off not participating and the people have little reason to vote since the government has the system rigged. There’s nothing honest about these elections since the public doesn’t have the power to vote out the government. Glad I don’t live there.

      • Cameron James

        I don’t follow your point — there are multiple political parties who are free to run candidates — if these candidates get more votes for the positions they are running for they become part of the government — enough positions won by the opposition means they replace the sitting government — so what do you mean the public does not have the power to vote out government?

        • Carlyle MacDuff

          You are behind the times Cameron James, Maduro is denying other parties the opportunity to stand for election, He is a despot!

          • CErmle

            Your propaganda is fake news and simply not true. Venezuela is a functioning democracy.

    • Jason Barotz

      You obviously didn’t read the stories from the so-called National Constituent Assembly elections/appointments. The people that made the voting machines in an effort to save their reputation came out publicly and said they could prove the votes were overstated by at the very least 1 million votes. The CNE without checking the proof dismissed the accusations. I guess 1 million votes is a small number to them. It also doesn’t mean anything to them since they are on the PSUV payroll.

    • Carlyle MacDuff

      Honesty and Maduro have no connection. Please list the countries that consider that Venezuela has “the best if not the best” voting system. Allow me to start the list for you! North Korea, Cuba, Bolivia, Vietnam…… now you can add the others! Do please look up ‘despot’ in the dictionary and compare that with Maduro!

  • Gerard Matthews

    No opposition then? well at least left alive? despots or comrades of the Castro family seem to multiply! Corruption just continues to corrupt! You will all answer on the last day and then burn in eternity! Enjoy your ill-gotten gains whilst it last’s because eternity is so so much longer and you will be aware of the pain!

  • Jason Barotz

    The elections are a joke. The CNE is not independent in fact as well as in appearance. Any election held by them is therefore invalid. The mayors say and do nothing so the so-called election is meaningless. Their own government controlled websites said the voter turnout was 47%? Does anyone know of a democratic country where less than half the people vote??? Utter nonsense. Maburro is a POS.