29 November 2005

Electoral troubles in Venezuela: Political Parties withdraw candidates en masse

29.11.05 | All the major political parties have announced withdrawal from the electoral race of next Sunday, in which Venezuelans would choose Assemblymen. Accion Democratica, COPEI, Fuerza Liberal, Polo Democratico, Venezuela de Primera, Movimiento Republicano, Vision Emergente, CausaR and Proyecto Venezuela have made clear that under the present conditions they will not participate in electoral processes. It appears that only Primero Justicia, MAS and Rosales' Nuevo Tiempo are still willing to take part, although Descifrado has reported that Primero Justicia is having second thoughts about participating.

Sources in Caracas are sending shocking reports. Primero Justicia could have reached a pact with the Chavez regime: electoral participation in exchange to exempt party leaders from future prosecution -on treason charges that the regime could present against some of them, in particular against Gerardo Blyde.

OAS representatives trying to force on the political parties some sort of agreement whereby these would not demand electoral authorities, read Jorge Rodriguez, full compliance with current legislation. In their skewed view Sunday's election must take place no matter what. This has angered people so much that a rally to protest their odd behaviour and to demand cease and leave has been organized for tomorrow.

Then USAID representatives are meant to be encouraging some political parties to participate whilst promoting abstention to discourage others.

European observers are dumbfounded not knowing what to do. However the generalised impression is that, in spite of the many irregularities that they have witnessed, they will not take a principled stance on any issue.

Some polls are pointing to an up to 90% abstention level. Accion Democratica, is purportedly the first party to take into account what the base is saying.

Students are reportedly rioting in Merida, Valencia and Barquisimeto. A blogger living near Palo Negro -military air base- reported F-16s taking off.

To conclude with news from officialdom, the CNE cancelled its board meeting of the day and Interior Minister Jessy Chacon has threatened parties saying that regardless of political colours, those seeking to torpedo the elections shall face consequences.