Keys to the complex process of the primaries in Venezuela

By Saraí Coscojuela |

Caracas (BLAZETRENDS).- Five months after the primary elections of the Venezuelan opposition grouped in the Unitary Platform, the process continues plagued by discrepancies between the different parties, candidates, militants and the National Electoral Council (CNE), whose attendance was requested by the organization of these elections, whose proximity is inversely proportional to the consensus between the parties.

The voting system, the qualification or not of disqualified candidates, the participation of Venezuelans abroad or the need for the intervention of the CNE, among others, are the reasons that generated a debate on which, for the moment, there is no agreement. .

Here are some keys to the current scenario of the electoral process of the opposition primaries:

1- Automated or manual vote

The National Commission for Primaries (CNP) -in charge of organizing the process- proposed two scenarios to be able to carry out these elections, one with manual voting and the other with the automated system operated by the CNE, and which has been one of the great opposition debates, due to the distrust of a sector towards this body.

Carlos Medina, one of the directors of the Venezuelan Electoral Observatory (OEV), explained that the two formulas are feasible for the primaries, noting that the automated system has “important advantages” for having demonstrated its ability to audit in all its phases, as well as control of the system.

2- Fingerprint capture and proof of identity

The opponents asked the CNE to use the automated system for the primaries, but dispensing with “any biometric mechanism, to capture the identity of the voter”, called captahuella, a procedure that, according to Medina, serves to minimize the “duplication of votes” and that does not prevent keeping the voter anonymous.

There are techniques to avoid revealing identities, but “it is up to the political will of the parties, the CNE, the commission and the candidates to put these mechanisms” to respect the voter and that their data is not made public, something that also generates discrepancies .

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3- Disabled candidates

The CNP allows opposition politicians disqualified by decision of the Comptroller General, considering that they have committed crimes or alleged irregularities, to run in the primaries, without guarantees that their situation is irreversible and that they may be candidates for the Presidency, in case they win. the internal ones

Last February, Jesús María Casal, president of the CNP, said that what happens next, if a disqualified opponent wins, will not be a matter for the entity that organizes the primaries, but will depend on the State bodies for the possible lifting of his sanction.

4- Respect for the results

As part of the requirements for the application, published in an internal regulation, the candidates must sign a declaration of principles to guarantee governability, as well as the Minimum Government Program agreed between the pre-candidates, and respect the decisions of the organizing entity and the results of the vote.

The commission stressed that failure to comply with some of these factors, included in the CNP regulations, will be grounds for rejection of the nomination of a pre-candidate for the primaries on October 22, the date on which Chavismo’s rival will be known in the presidential elections of 2024.

5- The other wing of the opposition

Despite these commission rules, it is unlikely that there will be a single opposition candidacy for next year’s presidential elections, given the anti-Chavista divide.

The opponents Antonio Ecarri, Bernabé Gutiérrez and José Brito have announced their intention to be candidates, making it clear that they will not participate in the primary elections, although they have not announced a mechanism to select a single champion in that anti-Chavista sector either.

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