Updated 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Venezuela’s MUD must hold primaries Now!

The government of Nicolás Maduro still has not given the order to the four directors of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) making up the board of the National Electoral Council (CNE), to call elections to constitute regional governments and elect members of state legislative councils.

These elections should have been held in December of last year, but as notorious leaders of chavismo have pointed out, as long as there are not adequate conditions, meaning as long as there is no chance for them to win an election, the same will not be held. This decision perfectly fits the dictatorship that exists today in Venezuela.

This is one of the points contained in a document recently submitted by international observers to the two conflicting parties. They talk of the need to establish a clear electoral timetable. That is one reason – not the only one – to sit down for talks with officials of the Maduro government.

Now then, without popular pressure the Government can do the same thing as last year and flush these elections – and also the municipal ones – down the toilet. This is not a top priority issue for chavismo, and for obvious reasons: it would not even win an internal election today.

It is for this reason that we believe it necessary for the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) opposition coalition to establish its own electoral timetable and hold primary elections in order to choose its candidates for these regional elections.

It seems that leaders of the opposition have reached a consensus on pressing for the regional elections. That is progress. And completing the following steps should not be too complicated for them, either. It is necessary to focus efforts on achieving this goal.

The call made for a recall referendum already allowed to mobilize citizens throughout the country. A similar effect can be achieved if the opposition holds primaries, because that way it could bring the message of its candidates and lay stress on the dictatorial nature of those ruling the country today.

In addition to the above, holding opposition primaries will allow for twenty-four state leaders, legitimized by the vote of citizens, who would promote the activities of the MUD in each of the states.

Pressing hard for those elections along with street actions will also generate reactions within chavismo, where discontent with current regional authorities and the personal interests of some leaders are going to shake things up.

There are people within the opposition who say that regional elections are not a priority, since ousting Maduro from power remains the top priority. They demand general elections, which is not contemplated anywhere in national law. It is necessary to force the Government to keep violating the Constitution and thus give greater evidence that it is taking the country towards dictatorship.

To those who are skeptical about the removal of chavismo from power without popular vote, we remind them that this will always be the best way and that suffrage is the best weapon Venezuelans have as citizens. It is necessary to defeat the government of Nicolás Maduro via the ballot box.