The primary elections in Venezuela advance despite threats to opposition candidates

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The electoral period in Latin America continues after the electoral days in Guatemala, Ecuador and Argentina with the primary elections in Venezuela. The primaries in the country will advance despite the threats to the candidates and the rejection of the government of the current president, Nicolás Maduro. The electoral campaigns of the thirteen candidates who will compete for the presidential post begin this Tuesday, five years after the last presidential elections.

According to local sources, the thirteen candidates who will participate in the primaries have signed a document that established their "common principles" on the next election day. According to the Venezuelan media, the candidates will support the candidate who wins as long as he can face Maduro in the presidential elections. The document dictated that the country "must advance in changes that consolidate a new political, economic and social model" under the candidate who manages to reach the presidential seat.

The National Assembly of Venezuela does not recognize the pre-candidacies of the two most supported candidates, Machado and Capriles

Among the hopefuls are Henrique Capriles Randonski, a politician who came close to becoming president twice after the death of Hugo Chávez in 2013, and former deputy María Corina Machado, who has been persecuted by the regime. Both candidates have been disqualified by the Venezuelan government from participating in political activities due to their large presence among the Venezuelan opposition.

The National Assembly of Venezuela ignored the candidacy of Machado and that of Capriles in the next presidential elections, after being the candidates most supported by the opposition public. After confirming her candidacy, the members of the Assembly disqualified the former deputy from holding public office for 15 years. However, Machado and Capriles plan to run in the primaries and rejected the Assembly's ruling, according to local media.

That being said, the sanctions on Capriles and Machado will prevent them from registering their candidacies for the presidential elections in the event one of them wins the primaries. According to the country's constitution, presidential elections are due to take place next year, but a date has not yet been set.

According to the country's Constitution, presidential elections should be held next year, but they do not yet have a date

On the other hand, the Venezuelan opposition will set up 3,008 voting centers and 5,133 tables for the primaries, the National Commission for Primaries (CNP) announced on Monday. In addition, the CNP confirmed that 87 voting centers will be deployed in 80 cities in 30 countries around the world. The organizers of the event confirmed through a press conference that "more than 300,000 people outside of Venezuela will be able to vote in the primaries."

However, many candidates have been threatened before the start of the electoral period. Capriles denounced that more than 39 people were injured in his campaign event in Apure state, in the north of the country, last week. The candidate even confirmed that the attack was carried out by the country's pro-government groups, which belong to the Maduro regime. According to local sources, the applicants fear that they could be threatened for representing a possible change in the country.

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Arantxa Garcia Maldonado

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