Caracas (OrinocoTribune.com)—On Monday night, the far-right opposition’s National Primaries Commission (CNP) released its second update on the results of the opposition primaries held on Sunday, where María Corina Machado declared herself the winner. The update reports that with 64,88% of the votes counted, Machado remains in first place with almost 1.5 million votes, representing 92.56%. Meanwhile, Democratic Action (AD) candidate Carlos Prosperi sits significantly behind in second place with only 70,000 votes (4.45%).
The last update of Venezuela’s electoral roll reports almost 21 million voters, meaning that Machado may have won the election with only 10% of the electoral roll voting for her. CNP figures are not verifiable or auditable, raising questions about their validity, especially after pre-candidates and political organizations recently reported fraudulent actions and a monopoly of scrutiny from Machado’s NGO-controlled Sumate.
It is unclear how many voters living in the United States, who will not be able to vote in the 2024 presidential race due to the US severing diplomatic relations with Venezuela in 2019, voted in the opposition primaries. However, the most optimistic turnout estimation—based on unreliable CNP figures—represents a little over half of the 17.5% of the electoral roll that voted in the last similar event in 2012, when nearly 3 million voters participated.
— Comisión Nacional de Primaria VE (@cnprimariave) October 23, 2023
Despite social media attempts to present the image of massive participation in Sunday’s electoral event, most Venezuelan cities reported the typical calm atmosphere of a Sunday. Few election venues reported increased movement of people, and analysts explained that this resulted from people not knowing where they were going to vote and CNP’s decision to combine approximately 10 to 15 voting centers into a single one.
Opposition analyst Luis Vicente León analysis
On Monday, anti-Chavista analyst and president of polling firm Datanálisis Luis Vicente León analyzed the outcome of the primaries. He mentioned alleged hacking incidents reported by the CNP as the cause of delays in presenting the results, even though the elections were not automated and completely manual.
Con algunos bloqueadores informáticos inducidos de ultima hora , la emisión de resultados definitivos de la CNdP se demoró más de lo previsto y obligó a emitir un comunicado inicial con solo 26% de las actas totales, pero suficientes para dar resultados concluyentes:
1) la CNdP…
— Luis Vicente Leon (@luisvicenteleon) October 23, 2023
León explains in his post that the turnout was high but not bigger than in 2012. He stated that María Corina Machado’s victory is indisputable, putting her in the position to become the opposition’s 2024 presidential race candidate, even in the case of her disqualification not being lifted, giving her the right to choose an alternate candidate.
Another relevant issue León raised is the willingness of opposition political parties to allow Machado to take the driver’s seat of the Venezuelan far-right opposition overall. This connects with the chances of an accelerated fragmentation of the Venezuelan opposition due to Machado’s confrontational and divisive style.
Democratic Action and Carlos Prosperi
On Monday, the candidate for Democratic Action (AD), Carlos Prosperi, criticized the electoral process held on Sunday and did not recognize the results. He stated that different results cannot be expected if the same mistakes are repeated.
Prosperi defended his complaints about irregularities reported during the primaries through a statement published on social media. He said that as a democrat, “he cannot remain silent or be indifferent to certain situations.”
In recent days, Prosperi has condemned the “kidnapping” of voting center members by Machado’s Sumate and strategies used to inflate the numbers to make the primaries turnout look bigger but also risking undermining his numbers.
This same Monday, the opposition’s divisions were evident as Democratic Action (AD) party distanced itself from its candidate, Carlos Prosperi, after he did not recognize the results of the primaries.
At a press conference, AD Secretary Henry Ramos Allup disagreed with Prosperi’s refusal to recognize the election results. Ramos Allup stated that Carlos Prosperi’s position does not align with that of AD, adding that it was Prosperi’s personal opinion.
During the weekly United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) press conference held this Monday, PSUV Vice President Diosdado Cabello explained that, according to their data, only 600,000 people participated in the far-right opposition elections rather than over 2 million as the CNP claimed.
“There is no way for a disqualified candidate to move forward. There is no way, no pressure, blackmail, or violence that is going [to make us] do that. We are already used to these threats, and it is worth stating that we have defeated all of them,” Cabello stated.
He pointed out that one of the intentions is to “inflate” the primaries numbers to use the “slogan” of the “popular mandate,” with which they intend to manipulate their opposition supporters. “That is a different version of Guaidó’s slogan. It is different but the same,” he added.
Cabello also highlighted that the second intention of falsifying the number of voters was to put an end to the traditional opposition parties. “I am sure that will be easy because they are absolutely submissive to the mandates of imperialism,” he said.
Special for Orinoco Tribune by staff