As the January 9 elections in the state of Barinas approach, the temperature of the political debate in Venezuela is heating up between the four opposition candidates and the candidate for the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV)/Great Patriotic Pole (GPP), Jorge Arreaza.
Within both the right-wing groups and the Chavistas, a debate was opened regarding the various options that are on the table. This political landscape was formed after the inconclusive elections of November 21 in Barinas, and the National Electoral Council’s (CNE) announcement of a re-election process.
The present candidates now include three from the region and two who are residents of Caracas—opposition candidate Claudio Fermín and the Chavista‘s Jorge Arreaza. From there, a debate on the possibility of non-local residents running as candidates of another state has begun.
However, beyond the comments or doubts expressed by users on social media networks about this subject, Venezuelan legal regulations are quite clear on the nomination of political leaders who aspire to run for public posts in areas other than those in which they reside.
What the law says
According to the regulations governing the electoral law in force in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, candidates for other positions of popular election, such as deputies of the National Assembly or Legislative Councils, mayors, and councilors, are required to live and vote in the locality for which they are running.
However, that requirement does not exist for those who compete for governorships. Therefore, it is legally corroborated that neither the application of Claudio Fermín nor that of Arreaza (Chavismo) in Barinas are illegal.
Specifically, candidates are required to be Venezuelan by birth, and have an uninterrupted residence of at least 15 years in the country. They must have a minimum age of 25 years, by the date of the election, and be of secular status. That is, they cannot belong to the hierarchy of any religious organization. Likewise, it is necessary that they be duly registered in the Electoral Registry.
In the case of regions that share a border with other countries, it is mandatory that the candidate be Venezuelan by birth and must not have any other nationality. This is in addition to the rest of the requirements contemplated by law.
Featured image: Jorge Arreaza (left) and Claudio Fermin (right), both candidate for governor in Barinas state. Photo by RedRadioVE.
(RedRadioVE) by José Manuel Blanco Díaz
Translation: Orinoco Tribune