Nicolas Maduro's face appears 13 times in the electoral ballot in Venezuela. Why?

Nicolas Maduro's face appears 13 times in the electoral ballot in Venezuela. Why?

The face of the president and the official nominee, Nicolas MaduroIt appears in 13 of the 38 boxes on the ballot that voters will see in the presidential elections scheduled for July 28, one for each political organization it supports, but it is also the result of party interference, experts agree.

Written by Carolina Alcalde / Voice of America.com

He explained that the faces of the ten candidates participating in the elections appear on the ballot paper “the number of times presented by the organizations,” as stipulated by the Venezuelan electoral system. Voice of America Political scientist and electoral consultant Jesús Castellanos.

It is also clear that a large part of the tickets supporting Maduro and other candidates correspond to parties that have been tried in recent years by the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ).

“Their directives were interfered with and they ended up supporting the ruling party, in the case of PPT, Podemos or the Workers’ Party.” Communist PartyAs well as the recently created parties for this 2024 presidential election.

Maduro has the support of 13 political organizations, despite his opposition Edmundo Gonzalez Urrutia At least 11 people support it, and they do not appear on the ballot of the National Electoral Council (CNE), as many of those ballots were intercepted and handed over to politicians who are also in the race and whose opposition is indicated by collaborators with the government. .

The ballot consists of four rows. Maduro, who is seeking a third term, is recognizable at first glance, from above and to the left: he occupies the ten squares in the first row; Two of the second and one of the third. To stand out from the rest of the candidates you have to take more time and review carefully.

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Gonzalez Urrutia, 74 years old, who is ahead of Maduro by more than 15 points, according to recent opinion polls, occupies three boxes scattered in the second and third rows, among several candidates.

Enrique Marqueza candidate who could become an “emergency” option if some cards supporting Gonzalez are blocked, occupies a space in the third row.

Antonio Icari Luis Martinez appears six times on the card; Jose Brito, four; Daniel CeballosTwo, Javier Bertucci, Benjamin Rausio and Claudio Firmin, one each.

In response to a question about the relationship between his appearance on the ticket and Gonzalez’s chances of winning support from Disqualified leader Maria Corina MachadoCastellanos explains that it is not necessarily related to whether he appears more or less, and gives more importance to understanding the role the candidate plays.

“More than the number of times it appears on the ballot is people placing it,” he answers.

Ignacio Avalos, a sociologist and member of the Venezuelan Electoral Observatory, recalls that in Venezuela, where priority is given to parties with the right to nominate, it is common for a candidate to appear several times on the ticket.

In this regard, he stresses that what is important is for every political actor, with witnesses and observers, to organize and ensure the conduct of the electoral process “as required by law.”

In many countries in the region, it is not common for the presidential candidate's photo to appear multiple times on the electoral card, as only one photo usually appears for each of them, sometimes accompanied by the vice-presidential candidate.

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Avalos argues that although this is an advantage of the government, he also insists that it is “not a determining factor,” and points to the impact of other measures that have led to the “deterioration” of the right to freedom of choice, including an electoral record or loss of capacity without a judicial ruling. has become.

Meanwhile, Castellanos highlights that there are differences in electoral artifact between Maduro's image, which appears larger, compared to the rest of the electoral display.

“There may be inequality to the point where there is more clarity than with other candidates, and we don't know if this is a final model or if there could be changes,” he warns.

Moreover, it confirms that in the period between the submission of candidates and the balloting, there were changes in color and even image in the cards of some parties, which should not happen once the application process is completed.

“In the case of the Venezuela Unida party, there is a more serious name change. We find that Venezuela Unidad, as registered and appearing in the Official Gazette, now appears as Venezuela Unidad. It is not a change of pure coincidence,” he said, recalling that in 2015 the National Electoral Council changed its name. The party placed it next to the Round Table of Democratic Unity (MUD), which brings together the majority of opposition parties.

“The word unity should not be repeated, because the law prohibits the use of sects with the same name. It appears not only on two cards, but on three. “We believe this is a response to an attempt to confuse voters.”

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Although political parties can change their nominations up to ten days before the election, these amendments will not be reflected in the ballot.

Experts confirm that although the traditional opposition has made many advances, there are many advances 74 days before the elections. Scenarios They can present themselves, including blocking some papers supporting Gonzalez, but they insist that the only real way to achieve democratic change in the country is through elections.

A politician considered by the opposition to be close to the government has filed an appeal with the Supreme Court seeking cancellation of the MUD card, and so far, no ruling has been issued.

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