News21 Million registered to vote in Venezuela elections today

St. Lucia News OnlineNovember 28, 20219295 min

Venezuela, Sunday November 21, 2021:–  “We are convinced that today’s elections will leave great lessons of stability and unity for Venezuela.”So said President Nicolas Maduro, as he urged candidates in the massive poll to “continue competing for power in a democratic manner.”

The president spoke after over 21 million Venezuelans registered to participate today in the largest non-presidential election to be held in the last two decades, in a South American country that has had the most elections in the Americas since 1998.

In addition, for the first time since 2018, Venezuelan opposition parties abandoned their long-held policy of electoral abstention and registered over 67,000 candidates for today’s massive poll.

According to official figures, around 70,000 candidates nominated by 80 political organizations will compete for 23 governorships, 335 town halls, 253 seats in state legislatures and 2,471 city councils.

In order to organize an electoral process of this magnitude, the Venezuelan authorities said, they worked for months to guarantee that the will of the electorate can be exercised according to the law.

The main milestones on the road to today’s elections as published by the Telesur news agency on November 18 are:
New Electoral Council — A plural political formula

On May 4, the Venezuelan parliament appointed a new National Electoral Council (CNE) to represent political organizations more equitably. Former University Education Minister Pedro Calzadilla was elected the CNE President.

Meanwhile, opposition politician Enrique Marquez, Socialist League militant Alexis Corredor, former pro-government lawmaker Tania D’Amelio and the Bureau of Democratic Unity opposition party technical advisor Roberto Picon were appointed as rectors. “We recognize that there must be an internal balance in the CNE so that no political force annihilates another”, Marquez said, “We must put confrontation policies behind us and seek understanding for the good of our people. “Achieving this goal requires a political maturity for which we are ready.”

Socialist Party’s primary elections

The ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) selected its candidates through primary elections held on August 8. About 100,000 PSUV militants registered for today’s elections, across 5,108 voting centers nationwide. The initiative proved to be a great success, as over 3.5 million people were estimated to have participated. Mexico-hosted dialogue process

On August 12, Venezuela’s Bolivarian government and the opposition began dialoguing in Mexico to reach agreements expected to uphold the respect and sovereignty of Venezuela.

In the first round of pre-election talks, both sides signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), in which they ratified common willingness to ensure that all candidates have equal conditions for developing their political campaigns and that the electoral process is conducted peacefully and democratically. To achieve this, the CNE has been monitoring the development of the electoral campaign so that the media maintained an informational balance and spaces for expression for all alliance candidates.
In addition, the Bolivarian army will guard polling stations.

Saint Lucia and Venezuela have maintained bilateral ties since the island became Independent in 1979.

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