Venezuelan opposition united for regional elections

    17 de agosto de 2017

    Caracas, Aug 17 (efe-epa).- The Venezuelan opposition, gathered under the MUD coalition, announced Thursday its decision to remain united for the regional elections by fielding single candidates, although they will run under their respective parties' banners and not under that of the coalition because they fear that it could be banned.

    "The entity decided to register its candidates on this occasion only via the tickets of the political parties in the alliance that have been validated by the National Election Council (CNE)," said lawmaker Henry Ramos Allup at a press conference at which he read the MUD communique.

    He said that the decision was taken because "the regime was preparing a new and monumental trap ... in these elections arranging ... the fraudulent banning of the MUD ticket in ... the country's states just a few days before the elections."

    In addition, he emphasized that because the coalition will compete in the elections with single candidates it will need "to hold primary elections" in several states, including Nueva Esparta, Anzoategui and Vargas.

    On Aug. 7, the CNE announced the list of political parties that will be allowed to register for the regional elections, including five organizations within the MUD alliance, adding that it will not permit the opposition coalition to run in seven of the country's 23 states.

    After that, the opposition officially decided upon several candidacies in those elections.

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has touted the fact that the opposition would participate in the elections after it criticized the CNE for perpetrating a fraud in the July 30 election of the National Constituent Assembly members, tasked with rewriting the country's constitution, although the Chavista government has lambasted MUD for registering several different candidates in several states.