Venezuelan opposition says success of primaries ‘will not be erased by recalls or rulings’
(CNN in Spanish) — On behalf of the Democratic Unionist Programme, Biagio Bellieri, close to the candidate elected in the October 22 primaries, María Corina Machado, stressed on Wednesday at a press conference that the opposition’s internal elections were an absolute and resounding success, and that “no one summons” and no sentences will erase that. .
Bellieri stressed that “nothing and no one can ignore the results or their political implications, let alone ignore the democratic factors,” referring to the opposition parties. He also confirmed that there is indeed a unitary candidacy with Maria Corina Machado and that they hope with her to win the presidential elections in 2024.
He added that the strategy of the coalition of opposition parties, called the unionist program, is to defend the results, fight for electoral conditions, win the presidential elections, and build a broad government. He pointed to the three elements that Machado put on the table: forming a comprehensive security and electoral leadership, working towards a grand national agreement, and working on the programmatic plan called “Land of Grace”, that is, the government plan proposed by the winner of the primaries in her campaign.
On October 22, the Venezuelan opposition competed in internal elections with the participation of 10 candidates, seeking to identify a candidate to represent that coalition of parties in the presidential elections that will be held in the second half of 2024.
According to the latest bulletin of the National Preliminary Committee, more than 2,307,000 people participated in the process in which María Corina Machado won with 92.35% of the votes, that is, more than 2,253,000 votes.
The opposition primary elections were organized without the support of the National Electoral Council. In June, the National Communist Party contacted the electoral authority to request technical and logistical support, but the organization proposed postponing the event a month early.
After several meetings in which no agreement was reached, the National Progressive Party decided to move forward with the electoral schedule, leaving behind the discussion that the candidates conducted in an initial stage, about whether it would be better to hold the elections with the support of the party. CNE or without.
Eight days after the primaries, the Electoral Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice published a ruling in response to a controversial electoral appeal filed by Venezuela’s first representative, José Brito, a dissident from the opposition party Primero Justicia who has acted in the past to support official strategies.
Under the ruling of the Electoral Chamber, all actions carried out by the Primary Committee are annulled and Machado is confirmed to suffer from “confirmed disqualification,” making her unable to hold public office and thus run for office before the National Council. Electoral Council. The candidate considers this punishment illegal and unconstitutional, explaining that whoever voted for her enabled her to advance in the electoral process.
On the other hand, the Public Prosecution Office of the Republic has launched an investigation, as explained by Chief Public Prosecutor Tarek William Saab, based on public complaints of alleged irregularities in the process and in light of suspicion of inflating voter numbers. . For this purpose, the head of the National Primary Committee, Jesús María Casal, the vice-president, Mildred Camero, and Roberto Abdul, a member of the committee, were summoned last Monday.
Among other things, they are also investigating the source of the funds that financed the operation, and have asked to verify the minutes and voting books, which contain the names of people who voted in the operation.