Monday, February 6, 2023

Voters protest disqualification of Venezuela’s leading candidate

Nearly 500 supporters of Venezuela’s anti-gubernatorial candidate, who had been disqualified retrospectively as votes were counted, marched ahead in the home state of late President Hugo Chávez, protesting Saturday against a decision that Opponents say the unfair election has become a status symbol.

Under heavy military and police presence, supporters of Freddy Superlano condemned the Venezuelan Supreme Court’s decision to schedule a new gubernatorial election in January, saying they would be robbed of the penal vote used against the ruling party’s candidate. Used to be. He vowed to keep any pro-government candidate out of the governor’s office.

The north-western state of Barinas is considered the stronghold of Chavismo. The Superlano was ahead in the November 21 race against one of Hugo’s brothers, Argenis Chávez. Argenis Chávez and his father, Aden, have served as the governor of Barinas State since 1999.

“It was a punishment against all the wrongs he had done,” said 71-year-old retired Jose Montia. “The state should have been taken care of like a small golden cup, the Chavez family has ruled here, and see what the state is like.”

Montia, whose pension is about $2 a month, is then troubled by a long list of concerns: severe gasoline shortages; lack of health care facilities; no basic services like gas, water and electricity; and hunger.

Venezuela’s Supreme Court of Justice ruled on Monday that Superlano should not have been on the ballot after he was disqualified because of an administrative ban imposed in August because of his work as a legislator between 2015 and 2020.

The disqualification raised further doubts about the fairness of Venezuela’s electoral system, which most major political forces agreed to participate in after the first vote in years and which was monitored by EU observers. President Nicolas Maduro’s government invited the monitors but called them “spies” after releasing preliminary reports critical of the electoral system.

Opposition leader Freddy Superlano speaks to supporters in Barinas, Venezuela, December 4, 2021.

The court is one of several government bodies viewed as loyal to the Maduro government. In past years, it and other agencies have blocked or ruled against major opposition parties and candidates.

People marched outside the Catholic Church to protest from across the state or from nearby areas, where residents have seen their wages and pensions slashed over the years and were forced to pay a few dollars for food packages. has been done. Earlier the government used to distribute it for free. Many wore orange T-shirts and hats emblazoned with their candidate’s name, waved Venezuelan flags and showed two thumbs down whenever Maduro was mentioned.

Among those who protested, gasoline rationing was a common complaint about Arganese Chávez’s administration. He implemented a system that allowed people to refuel on limited days, affecting the daily lives of many. Before the protest, the government announced that it was ending the refueling system.

Barinas resident Raquel Coromoto, 57, said, “We need to live better. We need to breathe, we are drowned, weary of these arbitrary people.” “We think we are in a dictatorship and we want change.”

Supporters Of Opposition Leader Freddy Superlano Gather For A Demonstration In Barinas, Venezuela On December 4, 2021.

Supporters of opposition leader Freddy Superlano gather for a demonstration in Barinas, Venezuela on December 4, 2021.

On Saturday, Superlano introduced his wife, Aurora Silva, as his party’s candidate for the January 9 election. Arjanis Chavez announced on Tuesday his decision to resign as governor and not run again as the ruling party’s candidate. The United Socialist Party of Venezuela had not chosen a candidate until Saturday.

Silva had previously worked as a youth activist, but had never held the position before.

“I’m sure the regime didn’t think we would respond like this in Barinas. It’s for the future of our children, the women, it’s for them that we’re going (to the election),” Silva said. To the crowd “We are on the right side of history and Barinas is an example; Barinas rose.”

Juan Guaidó, the leader of the US-backed faction of the opposition and who did not vote during the election, surprised the protesters, who waved him when he arrived.

The EU observers’ report concluded that regional contests took place in better conditions than country elections in recent years, but were influenced by the use of public funds and other actions to benefit pro-government candidates. The Monitors also noted that the elections were tainted because of the disqualification of the opposition claimants.

Observers announced on Saturday that they would end their mission on Sunday and return early next year to present an in-depth report. He did not comment on Superlano’s disqualification.

The court’s decision was in response to a complaint filed by political leader Adolfo Superlano, who accused Barinas of “violating constitutional rights to participation and suffrage”. Adolfo Superlano, who is no longer related to the disqualified candidate, is one of seven opposition dissidents under US economic sanctions after being accused of leading “actions that undermine democracy” in Venezuela.


This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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