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Asia and the Pacific
Western Asia

Venezuela - October 2023

Opposition’s primaries results invalidated by the Supreme Court

On 22 October, the Venezuelan opposition held a primary election, organized independently, without participation of the country’s electoral body, to choose its candidate. Over two million people participated, the vast majority voting for conservative politician, Maria Corina Machado, as the political opposition’s candidate. Machado, however, was banned from running for public office years ago, after an internal comptroller’s decision related to omissions in disclosure of personal assets, a measure seen as politically motivated. The results of the primaries were subsequently suspended by Venezuela’s Supreme Court after the attorney general’s office accused organizers of incurring in irregularities.

The opposition’s primaries took place days after a negotiation between the government and the opposition, after which the United States agreed to temporarily lift some sanctions, upon the Maduro government’s commitment to hold presidential elections during the second semester of 2024. The invalidation of the results and the continued ban on opposition candidates to run is a blow to the dialogue and efforts to ensure elections can take place next year, and will likely impact Venezuela-US discussions regarding sanctions.

Sources: El Pais (1), El Pais (2), The GuardianBritish Broadcasting Corporation

Primary categories and factors
Representation -1 Representation  (-1)
Free Political Parties
Rule of Law 0 Rule of Law  (0)
Secondary categories and factors
Rule of Law 0 Rule of Law
Judicial Independence
Predictable Enforcement

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