Some Venezuelan opposition parties requested technical support from the National Electoral Council (CNE) to hold primaries and elect their internal representatives ahead of the 2024 presidential elections, they revealed during a press conference held on April 7.
COPEI, Alianza del Lápiz, Neighborhood Force (Fuerza Vecinal), Centrados, and Movement for Socialism (MAS) asked the CNE to provide technical support to carry out an open national consultation in which each party could elect candidates for the presidential elections. The documents of the opposition political parties were received by the rectors of the CNE, Enrique Márquez and Roberto Picón.
The general secretary of COPEI, Juan Carlos Alvarado, asked on April 7 to hold an internal electoral process for his party on May 15. For his part, the coordinator of Centrados, José Luis Farías, said that the challenge of the parties will be to negotiate with other opposition political forces and to initiate conversations on the convenience of using the support of the CNE for the much-needed democratic election of a single opposition candidate capable of confronting the robust electoral power of the ruling party, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).
Farías explained that they discussed issues such as the period for the consultation, the necessary number of voting centers and machines and technical matters, in talks with the CNE. “To create the best conditions that can allow citizens to make a decision that translates, not only into the best candidate, but into the next president of Venezuela,” Farías said.
However, the fracture within the opposition parties is still evident, which is why there are far-right leaders, such as María Corina Machado, who rejected the CNE’s participation in this process.
Recently, on social media platforms, Machado posted a video presenting a “proposal” to hold primary elections among opposition groups without using the legitimate institutions of the state. “Zero CNE , zero TSJ [the supreme court of Venezuela], zero Republic Plan, zero machines, [but] a manual vote,” were the conditions proposed by the far-right politician for a primary election.
The participation of the CNE in possible opposition primaries is not viewed positively by a sector within the fragmented Venezuelan opposition, including the Popular Will, Encuentro Ciudadano, and Project Venezuela parties. However, they have not yet issued a formal statement on their preferred method for choosing an opposition candidate. They have only reported through their spokespersons that they are designing regulations for this process, but the document is not yet public.
In this regard, the national director of Neighborhood Force and spokesperson at the press conference, Elías Sayegh, said that the process of the opposition primaries cannot be co-opted by a sector of the opposition itself, but must be as broad as possible in terms of who could run, and with the broadest national reach so that all Venezuelans can vote.
Featured image: CNE headquarters in Caracas. File photo.
(RedRadioVE) by Ana Perdigón, with Orinoco Tribune content
Translation: Orinoco Tribune