Venezuelan far-right opposition party Justice First (PJ) announced that it will not endorse any candidate in the opposition primaries after PJ leader Henrique Capriles withdrew from the elections. Furthermore, the national political committee of the party announced that it will not field any candidate in place of Capriles.
“The role of our party members in these 10 remaining days will be to promote participation in the primary and to carry out the organizational responsibilities assigned to us by the National Primary Commission,” the PJ stated through a communiqué.
Primero Justicia no presentará candidato a la elección primaria, ni respaldará candidatura alguna. Sin embargo, prestará la colaboración logística ofrecida a la Comisión Nacional de Primarias, con los miembros de mesa postulados para el día 22 de octubre. La unidad y el… pic.twitter.com/ZOD8qqStqV
— Primero Justicia (@Pr1meroJusticia) October 12, 2023
The party also expressed its support for Capriles’ decision and thanked him for his “innumerable contributions to democracy and to the welfare of the Venezuelan people.”
This incident exposes, once again, the weakness of the the Venezuelan opposition parties which are incapable of uniting against Chavismo in the elections.
On Sunday, Henrique Capriles withdrew his candidacy in the opposition primaries announcing that it was a personal decision and that it was not a special message to the other disqualified candidates. Capriles was disqualified by the Venezuelan Supreme Electoral Tribunal from holding public office. There are still two disqualified candidates running in the opposition primaries—María Corina Machado and Freddy Superlano.
Capriles also clarified that he will not support any particular candidate, but whoever wins the primary will have his unconditional support in the presidential elections of 2024.
“There is no secret pact behind my withdrawal, I am not saving the spot for [Zulia state governor Manuel] Rosales,” Capriles stated after announcing his withdrawal. “I simply made a decision that is very difficult to make, especially when you have dedicated your life to try to reach a solution to transform the country. But personal interest cannot be above the interest of the country.”
Thus, 10 days before the elections are to be held, more uncertainty builds up as to who will remain for the opposition primaries on October 22.
Candidates are withdrawing, representatives of the regional boards are leaving, and there are rumors that the president of the National Primary Commission, Jesús María Casal, could jump ship in the next few days.
(RedRadioVE) by Ana Perdigón, with Orinoco Tribune content
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
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